NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) – integrating pharmacy into urgent care

The NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) was launched by NHS England and Improvement on the 29 October 2019, to progress the integration of community pharmacy into local NHS urgent care services, providing more convenient treatment closer to patients’ homes.

The CPCS offers patients the option of having a face-to-face consultation with a pharmacist following an initial assessment by an NHS 111 call handler. The call handler can make a digital referral to a convenient pharmacy, where the patient can attend to receive advice and treatment for a range of minor illnesses or for an urgent supply of a previously prescribed medicine.

Should the patient need to be escalated or referred to an alternative service, the pharmacist can arrange this.

The service is helping to alleviating pressure on GP appointments and emergency departments, in addition to harnessing the skills and medicines knowledge of pharmacists.

The NHS CPCS toolkit for pharmacy staff provides a practical step-by-step guide on providing the service.

We are currently piloting expanding CPCS to include appropriate referrals from GP surgeries, and are learning from 74 practices around the country involved in doing this.

In the pilot sites, trained general practice reception teams are referring patients to booked community pharmacy consultations following initial assessment.

The full service specification is available here: Advanced Service Specification – NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service

The CPCS was developed following two pilots known as the Digital Minor Illness Referral Service (DMIRS) and the NHS Urgent Medicines Supply Advanced service (NUMSAS). These pilots showed positive results, with patients consistently reporting high satisfaction rates.

NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) animation for NHS 111

This animation provides an overview of the patient journey through the service, from when they first call NHS 111, and has been developed to help train NHS 111 call advisors and pharmacy teams.

NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) – urgent medicine supply patient journey

This training module has been developed for NHS 111 health advisors and pharmacy teams to help describe the urgent medicine supply of the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) and to illustrate the change in the patient journey since its introduction.