England’s Pharmacy First service is going live today in community pharmacies across the country as part of the Government’s primary care access recovery plan.
The service provides treatment for seven common conditions with medicines provided by the NHS. For the first time, patients will be able to access medicines for sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections without having to visit their General Practice first.
Tase Oputu, Chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in England, said:
“Pharmacy First is a leap forward in improving patient care by making treatments for a range of conditions more accessible from community pharmacies.
“The expansion of clinical services not only empowers patients with greater choice on where and how they receive care, but also makes the most of the valuable skills of pharmacists and their teams.
“Pharmacy teams have made an incredible effort to get the service ready alongside all the additional pressures they face. It's an exciting transformation, helping to reshape the landscape of primary care.”
Pharmacy First sits alongside two other recently introduced community pharmacy services in England, a contraceptive service enabling women to get the Pill directly from their pharmacist, and a blood pressure check service to help prevent heart attacks and strokes.
All three services align with the RPS Vision for Pharmacy Professional Practice, developed with the King’s Fund, which sets out how pharmacy teams can support better patient care and address key challenges facing the nation’s health. The Vision emphasises the importance of providing consistent patient-focused services through community pharmacy that enhance access to care.
Tase took part in numerous radio interviews, including Radio 4’s flagship morning programme Today, to discuss the service's impact and importance. Listen to the Today programme below:
Find out why RPS Fellow and community pharmacist Reena Barai thinks Pharmacy First is a game changer.
Check out our resources to help you feel confident and competent to provide national common clinical conditions services.