Pharmacy First Service: Enhancing NHS England | Community Pharmacy England

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Understanding the NHS England Website Pharmacy First Service: Enhancing Health and Social Care through GP Advanced Services in England

Choose NHS GP Pharmacy First Service for Minor Illnesses or Urgent Repeat Prescriptions!

Building on the success of the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS), which has been serving patients since October 2019 with referrals from NHS 111, Pharmacy First elevates accessibility and quality care to new heights. Launched on 31 January 2024, this innovative service integrates with existing consultation offerings, empowering the community to provide comprehensive care for seven common conditions through defined clinical pathways.

What are the benefits of Pharmacy First clinical pathways and patient groups? In March 2024, NHS Service Finder, Pharmacy Contractors, participating pharmacies, NHS England, and the Department of Health and Social Care unveiled a comprehensive Delivery Plan to enhance access to primary care. As part of this initiative, patients can now obtain specific prescription medications directly from a pharmacy through a quicker and more convenient consultation with the pharmacist, eliminating the need for a General Practitioner appointment for urgent care.

Additionally, pharmacies are equipped with walking into the pharmacy rooms and offer a more convenient way to access healthcare, including support with healthy eating, exercise, smoking cessation, blood pressure checks, contraception, and flu and COVID vaccinations.

Managing Seven Common Conditions with the NHS Pharmacy First Service: Medicine, Contraception, and More

Empowering Healthcare with Pharmacy First

Pharmacy First Guidance and Solutions

Pharmacists are well-equipped to provide guidance on various health issues and recommend suitable medications. They can also administer treatment and prescribe certain medications for specific conditions, eliminating the need for a GP appointment. Conditions covered under the Pharmacy First scheme include:

  • Earache (ages 1 to 17)
  • Impetigo (ages 1 and up)
  • Infected insect bites (ages 1 and up)
  • Shingles (ages 18 and up)
  • Sinusitis (ages 12 and up)
  • Sore throat (ages 5 and up)
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs) for women (ages 16 to 64)

When visiting a pharmacy for these conditions, pharmacists will offer advice, treatment, or referrals to other healthcare professionals if necessary. They will also update your health record.

Pharmacists can still provide guidance for those outside these age ranges, but treatment may require a GP visit.

Health Conditions Medication Consultation

Pharmacists can address concerns about your medications, including usage instructions, potential side effects, and any other inquiries you may have.

Exploring the Advantages of Pharmacy First: Comprehensive Consultation and Treatment Options for Health Conditions

This innovative service is set to ease the burden on appointments, ensuring swift and convenient access to high-quality healthcare for those in urgent need. Whether it’s addressing troublesome earaches or managing urinary tract infections, Pharmacy First focuses on resolving health issues promptly.

Traditionally, NHS patients in England had to visit their enable community pharmacists for prescription-only medication, resulting in multiple trips and treatment delays. However, with community pharmacies offering extensive healthcare services, including guidance on healthy living, smoking cessation support, vaccination services, and advice from the National Institute for Health, patients now have a more convenient healthcare alternative available.

The Impact of Pharmacy First: Advanced Services and Emergency Contraception

The response to the new service specification has been overwhelmingly positive. According to a recent community pharmacy survey, over 90% of patients who sought advice from a pharmacy in the past year reported receiving excellent guidance. By avoiding the need for a general practice visit, the service aligns well with the UK’s Institute for Health and Care Excellence standards for private consultations and other service offerings. With both the government and NHS England dedicated to improving patient care, initiatives like Pharmacy First underscore their commitment to maximizing the expertise of community pharmacists for comprehensive care following established clinical pathways.

Using this service, The experience enhanced healthcare accessibility and convenience with the new pharmacy first service – because your well-being, medicine supply and access to appropriate medications are always our foremost concern!

#RightCareFirstTime #PharmacyFirst

Explore the NHS Pharmacy First Service: Enhancing Awareness for Health and Social Care

Advanced Services: Expert Advice and Treatment for Sore Throats and Urinary Tract Infections

Starting a new medication routine for a chronic condition can feel daunting, but rest assured, support is available. With the New Medicine Service (NMS), offered at no cost, your local pharmacist can offer guidance and assistance as you embark on this new phase of treatment.

Who Can Benefit? If you’re a resident of England and have been prescribed medication for conditions like asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more as listed below, you’re eligible to take advantage of this service:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Osteoporosis
  • Gout
  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Urinary incontinence or retention
  • Heart failure
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Unstable angina or heart attack
  • Stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • Long-term risk of blood clots or blocked blood vessels, including DVT (deep vein thrombosis)

How It Works: When picking up your prescription from the pharmacy, inquire about the New Medicine Service under the pharmacy first self-assessment framework scheme. Over a few weeks, you’ll have three appointments with the pharmacist, either face-to-face or via phone.

During these appointments, feel free to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about your medication. The pharmacist is there to assist you and can refer you back to your doctor if needed.

Common Conditions for Emergency Contraception

Certain pharmacies offer free emergency contraceptive pills as part of their health and social care services. If you’re 16 years old or older, you can obtain them from most pharmacies or clinical pathways (CPWs).

The emergency contraception service aims to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse, whether due to the absence of contraception or contraceptive failure.

It’s essential to use emergency contraception within 3 to 5 days of unprotected intercourse, as its effectiveness typically increases the sooner it’s taken.

There are two types of emergency contraception available: the intrauterine device (IUD), also known as the copper coil, and the emergency contraceptive pill, often called the morning-after pill.

Looking for guidance and treatment options regarding emergency contraception?

You can access the emergency pill or IUD free of charge from the following locations:

Most sexual health clinics, also known as family planning or contraception clinics.
Most GP surgeries.

Additionally, you can obtain the emergency pill at no cost from:

Some NHS walk-in centres.
Pharmacies offering NHS emergency contraception services.
Some young people’s services (for more information, contact the national sexual health helpline on 0300 123 7123 for advice).

Furthermore, you can purchase the emergency contraceptive pill at most pharmacies, including online platforms, from the NHS England Website, and access the service.

IUD: An IUD can be inserted within 5 days (120 hours) after intercourse.

It’s a small plastic T-shaped device that a specially trained nurse or doctor can place into your womb.

To have an IUD fitted, you must schedule an appointment with a nurse or doctor. Typically, this is done at a sexual health clinic or GP surgery.

The IUD can serve as your regular method of contraception and lasts for either 5 or 10 years, depending on the type.

Emergency contraceptive pill: In the UK NHS service, there are two primary types of emergency pills:

Levonorgestrel (brands include Levonelle), which you must take within 3 days (72 hours) after intercourse.
Ulipristal acetate (brands include ellaOne), which you need to take within 5 days (120 hours) after intercourse.

Is Oral Contraception Available Without Prescription or Consultation?

From December 2023 onward, specific pharmacies will offer the convenience of initiating or renewing oral contraception for women, eliminating the requirement for a GP appointment. This enhancement supplements the current service for repeat prescriptions. In a private consultation, the pharmacist will review your medication to ensure it aligns with your requirements.

The added benefit? Oral contraception is provided free of charge on the NHS, eliminating any concerns about prescription fees.

Visit the NHS England website or the Department of Health and Social Care for details on the new Pharmacy First Scheme, an advanced service.

How can I determine if the Pharmacy First scheme in my area offers benefits for me?

The NHS is dedicated to enhancing healthcare accessibility, and the introduction of the new Pharmacy First service reflects this commitment. But what exactly does it entail?

When you’re feeling unwell, simply visit your local participating pharmacy for a confidential consultation with the pharmacist, who can assist with urgent or emergency care needs as well as common health conditions. You may also receive referrals from your GP or the 111 helpline. Pharmacists will conduct consultations either face-to-face or virtually, addressing your concerns and providing recommendations tailored to your requirements.

What Are the Advantages? Pharmacy First self-care offers numerous benefits! Pharmacies offering the service are available during all opening hours, potentially providing faster access compared to GP appointments, and contributing to the release of millions of GP appointments annually.

How Do Pharmacists Dispense Prescription Medications? Pharmacists adhere to stringent NHS protocols, ensuring the safe and effective provision of treatment to patients within specified age and gender groups.

Is There a Cost? Consultations with pharmacists are free, even for minor ailments, although over-the-counter medications will incur costs. Prescription charges apply unless you qualify for free prescriptions or possess a prescription prepayment certificate.

With Pharmacy First, accessing necessary care has never been more convenient. Patient group directions or the pharmacy-first service bolster the role of community pharmacies in providing prescription-only medicines within established clinical pathways, further enhancing service efficiency.