Following the conclusion of negotiations between Community Pharmacy England, NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care on the launch of the Pharmacy First service as well as other changes to pharmacy funding and services, Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the Company Chemists’ Association, said:
“Pharmacy teams across the country provide high quality, essential care to their local communities, and today’s announcements will mean that they are able to do even more for NHS patients.
These measures will free up GP capacity and make it quicker and easier for patients and the public to receive the care they need.
The launch of ‘Pharmacy First’ is a huge vote of confidence in the sector and marks a first and crucial step in transforming the role of pharmacy to provide ever more care for patients.
This is a watershed moment for community pharmacy. We have the opportunity to prove to the government, the NHS and to patients that the sector can offer so much more, in terms of providing clinical solutions to common conditions, and playing a bigger role within local primary care. A successful Pharmacy First should form the foundation upon which the profession and the sector can build for the future.
In time we estimate a fully-fledged Pharmacy First service could free up more than 30m1 GP appointments per year”.
1 – CCA, ‘Transforming Pharmacy Practice Through Pharmacy First and Independent Prescribing’, June 2023