How to Prepare Your Pharmacy for Pharmacy First

4 mins

What is the Pharmacy First Service?The new Pharmacy First service is set to begin on January...

Kate Onissiphorou

By Kate Onissiphorou

What is the Pharmacy First Service?

The new Pharmacy First service is set to begin on January 31st, 2024, and is being put in place to replace the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)

The primary objective of the NHS Pharmacy First service is to ease pressure on GP practices and other healthcare services by enabling community pharmacists to take a more active part in managing common minor ailments, providing a comprehensive bundle of services that extends beyond dispensing medication. 

The scheme will allow pharmacists to supply medicines for seven common health conditions, including earache, sore throat, uncomplicated urinary tract infections, and more.

What services are included in the Pharmacy First Service?

With the help of this new service, pharmacies may now advise patients and, when necessary, prescribe medications for the below seven common ailments. Visit the NHS website to get the complete set of guidelines and recommendations on this.

Patients can access the NHS Pharmacy First service for the following conditions:

  • sinusitis

  • sore throat

  • earache

  • infected insect bite

  • impetigo

  • shingles

  • uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women

Community pharmacies could profit immensely from this and see a shift in patient perspective, with patients viewing community pharmacies as health clinics rather than just a place to pick up prescriptions.

How will this benefit my business?

Pharmacies that want to participate must sign up by January 31st, 2024. Community pharmacies who sign up for the programme will get an initial set payment of £2,000, with a £15 item of service charge given for each Pharmacy First consultation.

If community pharmacists meet the minimum activity criteria for clinical pathway consultations, they will also be eligible to earn a monthly payment of £1,000 starting in February 2024. Resulting in a huge increase in revenue for your organisation. 

How can I prepare for the Pharmacy First Service?

Ensure staff training has been completed

As a pharmacy owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that your pharmacy staff is trained in the service and that the pharmacists who are offering it are qualified to do so. Further training could be required since pharmacy staff providing the service are required to be familiar with the clinical pathways, clinical protocol, and Patient Group Directions (PGDs).

To give pharmacy teams a basic overview of the Pharmacy First service, Community Pharmacy England has put together a two-page summary. You can access the document here.

Check that your IT systems are up-to-date

In addition to making sure your pharmacy staff are properly trained to conduct the services, it's critical to make sure you have all the tools, IT systems, and standard operating procedures (SOPs) needed to complete the service.

Review compliance

In order to provide the service, your community pharmacy must maintain documentary evidence that the pharmacy staff are both qualified and keep their skills and knowledge up to date with the service being offered.

Pharmacy workers can use the completed Pharmacy First self-assessment framework to guarantee governance and service quality.

Don't Get Left Behind: Partner with Quad Recruitment for Pharmacy First Success

With the Pharmacy First service just around the corner, ensuring you have the right staff trained and ready is crucial. That's where Quad Recruitment comes in. As pharmacy recruitment experts, we specialise in connecting pharmacies with experienced and qualified professionals.

Don't let staffing challenges be a barrier to your Pharmacy First success. Get in touch with Quad Recruitment today, and let our expertise bridge the gap between your pharmacy and the skilled staff you need to thrive in the new healthcare landscape.

Contact us today or give us a call at 01244 621477 to learn how we can help you navigate the changing environment and unlock the full potential of the Pharmacy First service for your business.