Launch of the Pharmacy First service in England

The launch of Pharmacy First today (31st January 2024) represents a landmark moment for the community pharmacy sector and the profession.

Over 10,000 pharmacies have signed up to deliver the service which will increase patient access at a critical time for the NHS.

To mark the launch of the service, our Chief Executive Malcolm Harrison said: 

“Pharmacy First will enable patients to receive advice and, if required, treatment for seven common healthcare conditions from 10,000+ pharmacies across England without the need to visit their GP.  

Offering this free NHS care from community pharmacies will dramatically help improve access for patients and will free up GP capacity at a critical time for the NHS. We are confident that as this service launches, the community pharmacy sector will deliver for patients and the NHS, just as it did during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

We hope that the service will be expanded in the future – we estimate an ambitious Pharmacy First service could free up 30m+1 GP appointments annually”.  


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

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