Community Pharmacy England has recently reached an agreement with the Government and the NHS, paving the way for the launch of a new national Pharmacy First service. This agreement, accompanied by changes to pharmacy funding and services, signifies a strategic leap forward for community pharmacy.
The new Pharmacy First service is set to launch on January 31, 2024 (pending IT system readiness), and will provide advice and NHS-funded treatment for seven common conditions:
Consultations can be initiated by patients, as well as referrals from NHS 111, GPs, and other healthcare providers. The service incorporates the existing Community Pharmacist Consultation Service, creating a comprehensive platform for patient care.
An expanded Pharmacy Contraception Service is also slated to launch on December 1, 2023, providing enhanced support in this crucial area.
The Hypertension Case-Finding Service will relaunch on the same date with additional funding, contributing to improved cardiovascular health.
Recognising the transformative potential of the new service, it is now so important for the entire sector, especially locum pharmacists within England, to get behind this initiative.
The success of the Pharmacy First service hinges on widespread engagement and collaboration from all stakeholders. We would encourage all pharmacists to familiarise themselves with the new service and engage in active participation.
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