NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service passes 100,000 referrals milestone in 10 weeks

13th January 2020

Over one hundred thousand patients with minor illnesses or urgent medication needs have received same-day pharmacist referrals through the NHS Community Pharmacy Consultation Service (CPCS), according to figures released this weekend.

Department of Health and Social Care figures reveal that:

  • 10,600 pharmacies have registered to provide the service since October 2019
  • 114,000 patients have benefitted from referrals to pharmacists via the CPCS

Mark Lyonette, chief executive of the National Pharmacy Association said:

“We are pleased that pharmacists, patients and the NHS are already embracing this new and important service, which offers people convenient care from highly skilled health care professionals.  Pharmacies are an indispensable component of the urgent care pathway – the first port of call for advice on minor illnesses as well as a vital support for people with long term medical conditions.

“The NPA is delighted the NHS has recognised the potential to make greater use of the skills of community pharmacists in urgent care, which is something we have promoted for many years. We are committed to working with the NHS to ensure that implementation is widespread and effective.”

The Community Pharmacist Consultation Service, launched by NHS England and NHS Improvement in October 2019, allows NHS 111 advisors to refer patients with minor illnesses to their local pharmacist for assessment and treatment.

The first 10 weeks of the scheme has seen 114,275 patients with minor illnesses, or those who urgently need medicines, directed from NHS 111 to a consultation with their local pharmacist.  This comprised 64,067 requests for urgent medication, for conditions such as diabetes or asthma, and clinical advice provided to 50,208 people with a minor illness, such as a sore throat or earache.