please find below letter from Well about new scheme: To provide more accessible healthcare to patients, NHS England has commissioned Pharmacy First to
commence from community pharmacies starting 31 January 2024.
Pharmacy First launch and service
Pharmacy First is a new advanced service that will include 7 new clinical pathways and
complements the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS). This expanded
service will consist of 3 elements:
Pharmacy First (clinical pathways) - NEW
Pharmacy First (urgent repeat medicine supply) - previously commissioned as
Pharmacy First (NHS referrals for minor illness) - previously commissioned as
The Pharmacy First (clinical pathways) will enable pharmacists to offer advice to patients
and supply NHS medicines (including some prescription-only medicines under patient group
directions (PGDs)), where clinically appropriate, to treat 7 common health conditions.
Patients can also self-refer into the Pharmacy First (clinical pathways) as a walk-in service.
As England’s second largest community pharmacy contractor, Well will be offering
Pharmacy First from all Well pharmacies. We therefore anticipate that there will be patient
demand in pharmacies that may be utilising locum support. We also assume that all other
pharmacies in England will be embracing the opportunities available to patients and
pharmacists through the rollout of Pharmacy First.
Therefore, we assume all self-employed pharmacists wishing to book locum shifts from 31 st
January in English pharmacies will be suitably accredited to deliver Pharmacy First.
For partner agencies, we anticipate that you will be ensuring the clients you put forward for
shifts can provide these services and you will be adapting your registration and onboarding
process to reflect this.
While locum pharmacists can determine how they operate when acting as a Responsible
Pharmacist, we will develop our own SOP for Pharmacy First . We would happily share this
with locums to support you in delivering Pharmacy First services. You are free to utilise your
own SOPs to deliver the service, subject to approval by our Pharmacy Superintendent.
Community Pharmacy England (CPE) Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) and Centre for
Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) will all have resources, training and webinars
available (again, these remain at your discretion and are not mandatory). This information
and guidance will be part of a prompting communication beginning in January.
Expansion of existing services
In addition to the above service launch, NHS England has announced the expansion of the
Pharmacy Contraception Service (PCS) to include initiation of oral contraception starting 1 st
December 2023. Both ongoing supply and initiation of supply will be combined into one
service. The Hypertension Case Finding Service will also re-launch on 1 December 2023.
In both services, it will be possible to use the wider trained pharmacy team members to
support you when delivering certain service elements with Pharmacy First, Contraception
Service and Hypertension Case Finding Service. Well will shortly be offered from all of our
pharmacies in England, so we request that you please confirm if you are appropriately
trained to deliver these services. Again, these are not mandatory requirements for self-
employed locums. However, moving forward, preferential bookings will be given to
pharmacists who can deliver these services to meet patient needs.
Head Of Central Operations