Pharmacy First

Pharmacy First has launched as an Advanced Service on 31st January 2024.

The service involves providing consultations to give advice and NHS-funded treatment (via Patient Group Directions), where appropriate, for seven common conditions: sore throat, infected insect bites, sinusitis, shingles, earache, uncomplicated UTI in women and impetigo.

Further information is available via CPE’s dedicated webpage

 

 

Background Information

Community Pharmacy England has reached agreement with Government and the NHS on the launch of a new national Pharmacy First service as well as other changes to pharmacy funding and services.

CPE agreed to accept the deal which sets out how the £645 million investment pledged within the Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care will be used to support community pharmacy services.

Under the agreement, a new Pharmacy First service which includes providing advice and NHS-funded treatment, where appropriate, for seven common conditions launched on 31st January 2024.

Specifications, PGD's, clinical pathways and Protocol

The service specification and clinical pathways have now been published this service.

NHS England has also published 23 finalised PGDs and one protocol for the Pharmacy First service.

Pharmacists must read and sign-up to the final versions of the PGDs and protocol, before providing the service.

Sign up to deliver the service

Pharmacy owners can still register to provide the service on MYS. However, you will not now be entitled to the £2,000 initial fixed payment.

NHS England has also published the PGD and Protocol sign-up sheet for the Pharmacy First service.

CPE have published the medicines list for clinical pathway consultations.

Videos have also been created to talk you through each of the clinical pathways. These should be particularly useful for pharmacists preparing to provide the service.

CPE: Implementing Pharmacy First: Webinar series

CPE Webinar:  Pharmacy First and the Recovery plan –  Watch on-demand
CPE hosted an introductory webinar around the new Pharmacy First service and other upcoming. Click here to watch this on-demand. 

CPE: Implementing Pharmacy First: Webinar series – Click the links below to book your place
CPE will be hosting a series of webinars to help pharmacy teams prepare for the new Pharmacy First service, and changes to the Contraception and Hypertension Case-Finding Services.

CPGM Maximising Your Success with Pharmacy First and Minor illness

Join us on Monday 4th March @ 7.00pm to find out how the service is going one month in, hear tops tips and share best practice across Greater Manchester. No need to book you can join by clicking on this link. Click here to join the meeting

The webinar will cover:

  • The basics of the Pharmacy First service
  • Minor illness – the missed opportunity
  • How it’s going so far – what the data is telling us
  • Engaging with local practices
  • Operational top tips
  • IT top tips
  • Best practice
  • Professional considerations

and much more.

The team from CPGM and NHS Greater Manchester will be on hand to answer your questions and to offer support.

No need to book. You can just join on the night via this link. Click here to join the meeting

CPGM Drop-in support sessions for pharmacy teams

We are pleased to invite you to a series of online lunchtime drop-in sessions during which CPGM and NHS GM (Programme team) will be available to answer your queries about the new service.

The following dates are available:

CPGM resources

Spotlight on Services: Pharmacy First – We have produced this as part of our Spotlight on Services series to provide you with tips to support service delivery

CPE: Checklists and briefings for pharmacy owners and pharmacists
CPPE support and workshops

CPPE has published learning resources to prepare and support pharmacy professionals.

  • There is a detailed self-assessment framework document to support pharmacists to identify development areas to establish their competence. This also signposts to relevant learning to help fill knowledge gaps.
  • There is also a copy of the pharmacy first service specification.

Further information will be added to this page in due course.

CPPE Pharmacy First resources have been updated this week, with some new content now available on the  NHS Pharmacy First page at https://www.cppe.ac.uk/services/pharmacy-first/

  1. three short new e-learning programmes for otitis media, sinusitis and sore throat.
  2. Each is based on video presentations delivered by a practising GP, Dr Phil Xiu.  There are markers within the videos to help learners navigate to key information if they need a refresher and  a quiz is included to  help test their understanding of how the knowledge and skills should be applied in delivering the service.

Furthermore,  the otoscopy examination video is  an open-access piece within the web page, to help people navigate to it to support their learning.  The link for this is https://vimeo.com/904422101/f3ebc6c96c?share=copy and it is under 15 mins duration.

FREE Clinical examination training

Community pharmacists in England are reminded that they can access NHS England funded Community Pharmacy Clinical Examination Skills training, which may be particularly helpful for supporting delivery of this service.

The training, which is being delivered by CliniSkillsTM, includes e-learning, with the aim of supplementing existing knowledge and skills to deal with a variety of presenting symptoms and to support the provision or expansion of pharmacy services.

The e-learning modules include structured history taking, followed by a series of clinical modules on: Cardiology, Ear, Nose and Throat, Paediatrics, Wound Care and Skin Conditions. Content focuses on identifying red flags for referral, knowing when the person can be managed with over-the-counter medicines as part of support with self-care advice and provision of safety netting information.

Additional training and support

Agilio:  Free e-learning courses around common conditions
Seven free e-learning courses have been developed to help you. These accredited courses are aligned to the NHS England clinical pathways and PGDs. All courses include questions to test understanding and a certificate of completion

Virtual Outcomes  – New Pharmacy First module added

All contractors in Greater Manchester have free access to a range of training modules to help to deliver pharmacy services:

  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
  4. Click “Start Course”
  5. Complete the registration form

Please find a summary document of all available Pharmacy First training providers below for support and guidance.

Pharmacy First Summary Training Document

Pharmacy First Operational Top-Tips

Please find a very useful guidance document below containing the top-tips for contractors in preparation to provide the service.

Top-Tips Guidance document

CPE have published a page containing a range of FAQs

Resources to engage with Patients

Pharmacy First clinical pathways – online information sources for patients
When pharmacists are providing a consultation for one of the seven Pharmacy First clinical pathways, there are several leaflets/websites for patients to be pointed to which are listed in the PGDs and treatment protocol.

This resource lists all the patient-facing leaflets/website links listed in the PGDs and treatment protocol, excluding the marketing authorisation holder’s patient information leaflets (hard copies will be available within the medicine’s packaging, with copies also being available from medicines.org.uk/emc).

NHSE have published materials for pharmacies to promote the service. You can use these in your pharmacy and across your website and social media platforms.

Resources to engage with General Practice

CPE have  published a template letter/email that can be sent to GP practices introducing the service

They have also  published a briefing for GP practice teams that can also be sent with the letter/email.

A breakdown of all referral criteria and a quick reference guide has been produced for use by GPs to identify which patients can be referred to pharmacy as part of this new service. Please note that these documents have not been signed off by the NHS.

Pharmacy First template PowerPoint presentation for LPCs (general practice colleagues )

Below we have included links to documents that have been sent to GP practices in relation to this service. These have been uploaded for your information and reference.

NW 2024 PF Briefing Pack for GP Practice Teams

NW Pharmacy First GP support pack letter

Pharmacy First – explainer summary for general practice

PharmOutcomes: User guide and resources

PharmOutcomes will be launching a resource centre to support users.

You can also look out for a new Pharmacy First themed front page on PharmOutcomes that will have a useful link to FAQ’s and service guides to help you understand the service and how we will be transitioning from the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) to the new Pharmacy First service .

The resource centre will be used to update users when necessary as we get closer to the launch date.

For users already signed up to use PharmOutcomes to record their Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) interventions, the transition to Pharmacy First will be seamless. From the service start date (planned for 31st January 2024) referrals for Pharmacy First will flow automatically flow directly into your services page if you have signed up to deliver the Pharmacy First service via MYS.

Service Guides

To see how their Pharmacy First solution works watch the informative video guide here

Please see some useful links to guides below.

How to join an affinity group

Pharmacy First Service Guide

Signing up to PharmOutcomes Direct

PharmOutcomes Provider Pays Costs and Affinity Groups

More information will follow over the coming weeks and will be shared via their resource centre. This will be available from the PharmOutcomes homepage.

Further details about the service

The service involves providing consultations to give advice and NHS-funded treatment (via Patient Group Directions), where appropriate, for seven common conditions (clinical pathways consultations). The consultations can be provided to patients who self-refer to the pharmacy (e.g. walk-ins) as well as those referred by NHS 111, GPs and others.

The Pharmacy First service will also incorporate the existing Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS). Pharmacies will be paid £15 per consultation

The seven common conditions included within this service are sore throat, infected insect bites, sinusitis, shingles, earache, uncomplicated UTI in women and impetigo. PGDs will be in place to enable pharmacists to supply Prescription-Only Medicines (POMs) to treat these conditions.

From the 1st December 2023 contractors will be able to sign up to deliver the service. All pharmacies that sign up will receive an initial payment of £2000.

Please note: in order to keep this payment you are required to deliver a minimum of 5 clinical pathway consultations before 31st march 2024

From February 2024, in addition to the £15 consultation fee, a monthly fixed payment of £1,000 will be paid to pharmacy owners who meet a minimum activity threshold of clinical pathways consultations (the threshold will increase over time as set out below).

Month Minimum number of clinical pathways consultations
February 2024 1
March 2024 5
April 2024 5
May 2024 10
June 2024 10
July 2024 10
August 2024 20
September 2024 20
October 2024 onwards 30

CPE Briefings - £645 million investment, Pharmacy First and other changes