Pharmacy First

Pharmacy First

NHS Pharmacy First, a new advanced service provided by community pharmacies which launched on 31 January 2024. 

Pharmacy First aims to take the pressure off GP surgeries and other urgent care providers. It will encourage more people to visit their pharmacy with minor medical conditions and illnesses, rather than automatically make an appointment with their GP or attend an urgent care provider.

Pharmacy First includes seven clinical pathways and has replaced the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS).

There are no changes to the former Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) elements of the service as it is transferred as a service within Pharmacy First. The existing referral routes for CPCS will continue apply to the new clinical pathways element of Pharmacy First, but patients will also be able to self-refer to a pharmacy for the clinical pathways (subject to the patient passing a clinically established gateway point in the relevant clinical pathway).

The Service will consist of three elements:

Clinical pathway consultations

Urgent supply of repeat medicines and appliances

Referrals for minor illness consultations

New element

Previously part of CPCS

Previously part of CPCS

There are no changes to the former Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) elements of the service as it is transferred as a service within Pharmacy First. The existing referral routes for CPCS will continue apply to the new clinical pathways element of Pharmacy First, but patients will also be able to self-refer to a pharmacy for the clinical pathways (subject to the patient passing a clinically established gateway point in the relevant clinical pathway).

Clinical pathway

Age range

Acute Otitis Media*

1 to 17 years

Impetigo

1 year and over

Infected insect bites

1 year and over

Shingles

18 years and over

Sinusitis

12 years and over

Sore throat

5 years and over

Uncomplicated urinary tract infections

Women 16-64 years

*Distance Selling Pharmacies will not complete consultations for Acute Otitis Media.

You can read the list of conditions and illnesses in the seven different clinical areas here that will enable community pharmacies to assess and treat patients.

The pharmacies delivering Pharmacy First includes Distance Selling Pharmacies (DSPs). These pharmacies will only be able to provide the Pharmacy First service via video consultation and will not be able to treat patients with acute otitis media.

As part of Pharmacy First, community pharmacies will hold consultations with patients to offer advice and suggest treatments for their conditions if they fall into the seven categories on the attached list. Consultations for these seven clinical pathways can be provided to patients presenting to the pharmacy as well as those referred by NHS 111, general practices and others.

Community Pharmacies are working hard to be able to deliver all aspects of the service however, February 2024 will be a transition month.

All GP practices are encouraged to work within their PCNs and with their Community Pharmacy PCN Integration Leads to be aware of which pharmacies are ready to deliver the service. 

GP materials on Pharmacy First

Community Pharmacy England have created this short animated video to help local GP practices, LMCs, PCNs and ICSs improve their understanding and engagement with the GP referral pathway into the Pharmacy First service.

View the infographic

Download this folder that contains the following resources:

  • Clip 1: Introducing the service

  • Clip 2: How the service works

  • Clip 3: The value of the service

  • Screenshots 

  • Social media tiles 

  • Suggested tweets/posts 

Visit the new Pharmacy First: Information for GPs webpage 

New think pharmacy first campaign materials are available to download for general practice and community pharmacy teams as well as NHS communications teams and include videos, social media graphics, and posters DHCS GOV.UK: Pharmacy First Resources

The community pharmacies that have opted in to provide Pharmacy First across Hertfordshire and West Essex is available here

Downloadable Resources - available from the Community Pharmacy England website:

Pharmacy First 111 Poster
January 2024
Download
Pharmacy First - Small Flyers
January 2024
Download
Pharmacy First Poster
January 2024
Download

PharmOutcomes

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