The NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) is being commissioned as an Advanced Service from 29 October 2019. This service was developed following two pilot services which were part of the work to integrate community pharmacy into local NHS urgent care pathways, as an element of the Pharmacy Integration Fund programme. These pilots were known as the Digital Minor Illness Referral Service (DMIRS) and the NHS Urgent Medicines Supply Advanced service (NUMSAS). These pilots have shown good progress, with patients consistently referred and reporting high satisfaction rates. Episodes of care are completed safely and appropriately instead of patients having to wait for a GP appointment and with the understanding that patients will be escalated to an appropriate service if necessary.
The service is based on a referral from NHS 111, following an assessment by a call advisor, leading to the patient being transferred for a consultation with a community pharmacist instead of being booked for an urgent GP appointment, out of hours GP appointment, or signposted to their own GP, depending on the time of day.
The full service specification is available here: Advanced Service Specification – NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service
The NHS CPCS toolkit for pharmacy staff has been produced as a practical step-by-step guide on how to provide the service, record service delivery and claim service payments.
Additional pilot phases are underway whereby patients can be referred into the service by general practice reception teams working with care navigators. This new pathway is initially being tested in Cheshire and Merseyside STP; Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS; Greater Manchester ICS, North East and North Cumbria ICS, Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucester STP.