NHS England has informed PSNC that there is currently (5th August 2022) an IT system outage with the Adastra system, used by many NHS 111 service providers across England.
This is affecting services that receive electronic referrals and bookings from NHS 111, including referrals to the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS).
Each region of England will be affected differently depending on the number of NHS 111 providers that use the Adastra system.
Effect on services during the outage
This outage affects a significant number of NHS 111 providers’ abilities to use the electronic referral and booking process and they will not be able to send referrals by interoperable (ITK) message, which is used to send CPCS referrals to pharmacy IT systems.
Pharmacies will not receive ITK messages from affected NHS 111 providers into their CPCS IT system (PharmOutcomes, Sonar, Positive Solutions or Cegedim).
Some NHS 111 providers will be able to send the ITK message as a delayed message once the system is back up, but in the meantime recipients of referrals will need to check NHSmail for email referrals or they will receive a phone call from NHS 111 to make the referral. Some NHS 111 providers (Isle of Wight) will not be able to send delayed message due to the local IT set up.
Pharmacies offering CPCS should regularly check their pharmacy’s NHSmail shared mailbox and their CPCS IT system for referrals at least 2-3 times a day.
Many general practices will also be affected as NHS 111 will not be able to directly book patients in for appointments, so patients may need to contact their GP practice directly. GP Practices may experience a higher number of calls and referrals from patients signposted by NHS 111. Due to this, pharmacies may experience a higher volume of CPCS referrals from general practices.
111 Online services are still in place, so CPCS providers will continue to receive online referrals into their CPCS IT system.
When will it be fixed?
A solution is being worked on urgently by Adastra, however, there is no estimated time for a fix. NHS England understand that the system issue may take the weekend to resolve.