The NHS Pharmacy Contraception Service will allow women to get contraceptive pills from their pharmacist. The service is due to launch in Spring 2023.
Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the Company Chemists’ Association said:
“The pharmacy contraception service is further recognition of the role that pharmacy can play in building capacity and resilience in primary care.
We estimate that, with investment, 2 million1 routine GP contraception appointments could be safely transferred into pharmacies. However, this initial phase will only provide enhanced access to a limited number of people. The NHS must rollout the subsequent phases (two, three and four) of this service at pace. They must also provide the additional funding needed to enable pharmacies to fully engage.
More than 42 million2 GP appointments could be safely transferred into pharmacies in England. This requires the Government to invest in a sector that is currently underfunded to the tune of £67,0003 per pharmacy.
The Government and NHS must also recognise the damaging impact that the ever-increasing workload and chronic underfunding is having. Since 2015, there has been a net loss of 720 pharmacies4 with 41% of them in the most deprived communities.
The pharmacy sector is at a crossroads – investment now will help deliver more and more NHS services or all parts of England will continue to see pharmacies close for good”.
1 – CCA, CCA Prospectus – A Future for Community Pharmacy, available here
2 – Ibid
3 – CCA, Funding gap in England equates to more than £67,000 per pharmacy, available here
4 – CCA, Primary Care Closures in England, available here