Pharmacy First: Enhancing Access to NHS Care

Posted by: Albany House - Posted on:

On 31 January 2024 NHS England launched the new “Pharmacy First” scheme, empowering Pharmacists to serve patients better.

As part of its commitment to improving access to healthcare services, NHS England has introduced the Pharmacy First initiative. This program aims to enhance patient care by empowering community pharmacists to play a more significant role in providing NHS services.
Should you contact the practice in regard to one of seven common complaints you will be referred to a local pharmacy which will be able to offer help, advice and where appropriate NHS medications.

What is Pharmacy First?

The Pharmacy First Service, equips pharmacists with the tools to offer advice, supply NHS medicines (where clinically appropriate), and treat common health conditions. Pharmacists can address seven common health conditions, ensuring timely and convenient care for patients.

  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in women
  • Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
  • Impetigo
  • Infected Insect Bites
  • Acute Sore Throat
  • Acute Sinusitis
  • Acute Otitis Media

Training and Competencies

To ensure effective patient care, Pharmacists receive training to respond effectively to minor illnesses.

Pharmacy First bridges the gap between patients and accessible healthcare. By leveraging community pharmacies’ expertise, NHS England aims to enhance patient outcomes and promote a healthier nation.

For more information, visit the official NHS England page on Pharmacy First. Detailed service specifications, clinical pathways, and patient group directions are available on the dedicated NHS England website.