New NHS Pharmacy First Scheme launched by NHS England on 31st January 2024

The new NHS Pharmacy First advanced service launched on Wednesday 31 January 2024. This new service will enable community pharmacists to assist patients without the need for the patient to visit their general practice. This, alongside expansions to the pharmacy blood pressure checking and contraception services is to help patients access 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 which are listed below:

  • sore throat
  • earache
  • sinusitis
  • impetigo
  • shingles
  • infected insect bites
  • uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women

Patients can access the new service by walking straight into a chemist, being referred by NHS 111, urgent treatment centres, emergency departments or their GP. Those who are not registered with a GP can still access the service. Further information about this service can be found: Pharmacy First service – FAQs – Community Pharmacy England (cpe.org.uk)