Launch of NHS Pharmacy First advanced service


From Wednesday 31st January 2024 you can see your community pharmacists without the need to see your general practice.

The new Pharmacy First Service will enable community pharmacists to complete episodes of care for patients without the need for the patient to visit their general practice. This, alongside expansions to the pharmacy blood pressure checking and contraception services, will save up to 10 million general practice team appointments a year and help patients access quicker and more convenient care, including the supply of appropriate medicines for minor illness.

The Pharmacy First Service builds on the previous Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) by enabling community pharmacies to manage patients for seven common conditions, following specific clinical pathways. The overall service consists of three core elements: 

  • Pharmacy First (clinical pathways) – new element 
  • Pharmacy First (urgent repeat medicine supply) – previously commissioned as the CPCS.
  • Pharmacy First (NHS referrals for minor illness) – previously commissioned as the CPCS.

The seven conditions are:

  • Acute Otitis Media for patients aged 1 to 17 years
    • Distance Selling Pharmacies will not complete consultations for Acute Otitis Media.
  • Impetigo for patients aged 1 year and over
  • Infected insect bites for patients aged 1 year and over
  • Shingles for patients aged 18 years and over
  • Sinusitis for patients aged 12 years and over
  • Sore throat for patients aged 5 years and over
  • Uncomplicated urinary tract infections for female patients aged 16 to 64 years

Patients will access the new clinical pathway element by walking into the pharmacy directly or where appropriate, by contacting them by video consultation.

In addition, patients will access the service via referrals from: 

  • NHS 111 (online and via telephone) 
  • NHS App 
  • integrated urgent care clinical assessment services 
  • urgent treatment centres 
  • emergency departments 
  • 999 
  • general practice (GPs cannot make a referral for urgent repeat medicine supply)

Published: Jan 30, 2024