Pharmacy Contraception Service


Introductory information

The 5-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) agreement reached in July 2019 included a plan to pilot repeat supplies of oral contraception.

In 2021, NHS England commenced a pilot involving pharmacies offering repeat supplies of oral contraception to people who had previously had the product prescribed.

In the Year 4 and Year 5 CPCF negotiations, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England proposed the commissioning of a Pharmacy Contraception Service, as an Advanced service, building on the learning which is coming from the pilot service.

The service aims to provide people greater choice and access when considering continuing their current form of contraception.

UPDATE: NHS England has published the updated specification and Patient Group Directions (PGDs) for the Pharmacy Contraception Service, following the announcement that the service will be expanded from 1st December 2023. Pharmacies that are already delivering the Pharmacy Contraception service will be required to ‘opt in’ to by 29 Feb 2024.

The Tier 1 service

Initially the service will involve community pharmacists providing ongoing management of routine oral contraception that was initiated in general practice or a sexual health clinic; this is the Tier 1 service.

The supplies will be authorised via a Patient Group Direction, with appropriate checks, such as the measurement of the patient’s blood pressure and body mass index, being undertaken, where necessary.

Subject to a positive evaluation of the ongoing pilot, from 4th October 2023, Tier 2 of the service will be introduced, which will enable community pharmacists to also initiate oral contraception, via a Patient Group Direction, and provide ongoing clinical checks and annual reviews.

Service specification

The Tier 1 service specification has been agreed and it will be formally published on the NHS England website, once it has completed its journey through their publication approval process. In the meantime, it has been published in draft form on the NHSBSA website.

It is not expected that any substantive changes will be made to the service specification ahead of its formal publication, but should any such changes be made, we will highlight them on this webpage.

The specification includes the training requirements for the service.

Download the service specification

Funding

The following fees for Tier 1 have been agreed:

  • A set-up fee of £900 per pharmacy, paid in instalments as follows:
    • £400 paid on signing up to deliver the service via the NHSBSA MYS portal;
    • £250 paid after claiming the first 5 consultations; and
    • £250 paid after claiming a further 5 consultations (i.e. 10 consultations completed).
  • A fee for each consultation of £18.

The fees for  Tier 2 will be agreed and announced in due course.

Training

Virtual Outcomes – New courses added

All contractors in Greater Manchester have free access to a range of training modules to help to deliver pharmacy services. Courses for Pharmacy Contraception Service have recently been updated

To access this Virtual Outcomes training:

  1. Visit https://www.virtualoutcomes.co.uk/pharmacy-training/
  2. Enter your pharmacy F Code
  3. Click on the training menu for the course you wish to view. You may need to use the search bar at the top if the course doesn’t appear in the list
  4. Click “Start Course”
  5. Complete the registration form

Promoting the service

NHS England, has updated printable posters and digital posters to assist pharmacy owners to promote the PCS to individuals in their pharmacies. These resources, include translations into Bengali, Polish, Punjabi and Urdu.

A digital poster for use in general practice to promote the availability of the service in participating community pharmacies is also now available.

These additional resources, are available via the resources section on CPE’s PCS webpage.