Pharmacy First

The NHS Pharmacy First service launches from Wednesday 31st January 2024; an advanced service that replaces the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service to include seven new clinical pathways.

The full Pharmacy First service consists of three elements:

  • Clinical pathways – a new element of the service
  • Urgent repeat medicine supply – previously within CPCS
  • NHS referrals for minor illness – previously within CPCS

More details of this advanced service are available from NHS England and Community Pharmacy England.

Providing the service requires community pharmacies to hold consultations that give advice and NHS-funded treatment (via Patient Group Directions), where appropriate for seven common conditions (following clinical pathways), which are:

  • Sinusitis for adults and children aged 12 years or over
  • Sore throat for adults and children aged 5 years or over
  • Acute otitis media for children aged 1 to 17 years
  • Infected insect bite for adults and children aged 1 year and over
  • Impetigo for adults and children aged 1 year and over
  • Shingles for adults aged 18 years and over
  • Uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women aged 16 to 64 years

Patients will notice many of their requests will now be referred to a local pharmacy offering the Pharmacy First service where many health complaints can be treated without waiting for a GP appointment.