Spotlight: Questions over Pharmacy First

The UK government has said it will introduce a ‘Pharmacy First’ service for England by the end of 2023, as part of a plan for recovering access to primary care.

Negotiations are ongoing, but the new service is designed to enable pharmacists to supply medicines for seven common health conditions, including earache, sore throat and urinary tract infections. However, it is not clear whether community pharmacies have the capacity to take on such a large new NHS service and some academics are warning of the potential for “extremely serious” consequences for antimicrobial resistance.

In this episode, executive editor Nigel Praities and investigations editor Carolyn Wickware take a closer look at the plans and the main stumbling blocks to the service’s implementation by the end of 2023.

More information regarding the independent prescribing pilots mentioned in the episode can be found here.

This episode was produced by Geoff Marsh.