CCA members get off to a strong start delivering Pharmacy First service

81% of CCA member pharmacies in England provided at least one Pharmacy First consultation in the first week of the service.

Data collected by the CCA from the first week of the service showed that amongst CCA members:

  • 84% of Pharmacy First consultations in the first week were self-referral (walk-in) consultations. 16% were from NHS111 and GP surgeries.
  • Sore throats represented nearly a third (30%) of all Pharmacy First consultations, followed by uncomplicated UTIs (26%) and earache / acute otitis media (17%).

The findings demonstrate strong public awareness of the service ahead of the launch of the NHS’ own marketing campaign from 19th February until the end of March 2024.

The initial data also shows that patients are accessing the service across the entire week, including weekends, and outside of typical working hours. This reflects the accessibility and convenience local pharmacies provide.

Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the CCA said: “Our members have worked tremendously hard to gear up for Pharmacy First and the initial results are testament to their efforts and the hard work of pharmacy teams on the ground.

The CCA will continue to collect and analyse members’ data to help build the case for the expansion of Pharmacy First to cover further common conditions.

We believe an ambitious and fully-funded Pharmacy First service could free up 30m+ GP appointments per year1”.


1 – CCA, ‘Pharmacy First’ could be a game-changer for primary care if Government and the NHS demonstrate ambition, June 2023

Notes to editors

  • The CCA conducted a blackbox exercise with its members, via PharmOutcomes data, of the first week of the Pharmacy First service in England.
  • Only data from PharmOutcomes was analysed. Data from other systems was not available.

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