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NHS Pharmacy First Service (PFS)

The PFS will be a new advanced service that will replace the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS). The full service will consist of three elements:

  • Pharmacy First (clinical pathways) – new element
  • Pharmacy First (urgent repeat medicine supply) – previously commissioned as the CPCS
  • Pharmacy First (NHS referrals for minor illness) – previously commissioned as the CPCS

About this service

The PFS will include 7 new clinical pathways and can be found on the NHS England website. These will enable pharmacists to:

  • offer advice to patients
  • supply NHS medicines where clinically appropriate (including some prescription-only medicines under Patient Group Directions), to treat 7 common health conditions

These conditions are:

  • sinusitis
  • sore throat
  • earache
  • infected insect bites
  • impetigo
  • shingles
  • uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women

Supporting information

The specification for the Pharmacy First service can be found on the NHS England website.

Clinical protocols and Patient Group Directions (PGDs) are available on the NHS England website to help contractors prepare to provide the service.

The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education has developed the NHS Pharmacy First self-assessment framework for the service. This includes the key skills and learning resources against which to assess competence to deliver the PFS.

Schedule of Payments & E-Schedule changes

As a result of the recent launch of the Pharmacy First service the method and quantum of contractor payments will change. To reflect this, changes have been made to the Schedule of Payments and E-Schedules to provide more detail for pharmacy contractors. As part of this exercise, broader changes have also been made for consistency and to provide as much detail as possible of the breakdown of payments.

Example Pharmacy First Schedule (PDF: 81.3KB)

Example Pharmacy First E-Schedule (ZIP: 108KB)

This Zip file contains:

  • E-Schedule Map (Excel: 105KB)
  • Sample E-Schedule (DAT: 3KB)

How to register

To register for the PFS and claim the initial fixed payment you’ll need to complete the opt-in process on the Manage Your Service (MYS) Portal before 31 January 2024. This includes contractors already registered to deliver CPCS.  

Claims for completed CPCS consultations

If you do not opt-in to the PFS, your declaration will act as your 30 day notice to cease provision of this service, if provided. If your notice occurs fewer than 30 days before 31 January 2024, the notice period will be reduced to the number of days remaining before this date, and the final date of CPCS provision will be 30 January 2024.

Claims for completed CPCS consultations submitted on or before the final date of service provision will be paid according to payment arrangements in the Drug Tariff.