NHS Pharmacy Contraception Service

Contraception management and why it’s important

NHS community pharmacies are an accessible and convenient place for people to receive advice and support for contraception management.

The NHS Long Term Plan highlights the importance of NHS services complementing the action taken by local government to support the commissioning of sexual health services and exploring the future commissioning arrangements to widen access and create capacity where it is needed.

Public Health England resource for commissioners highlighted the role community pharmacy can play supporting ongoing contraception. In areas that do not already offer commissioned contraceptive services, appropriately trained and skilled community pharmacists could provide access to their ongoing  supply of their oral contraception to relieve the burden on general practice and allow GPs to concentrate on more specialist services.

In response to this, and in line with the Community pharmacy contractual framework commitment to “test a range of prevention services’, a tiered pharmacy contraception service has been designed. The tiered approach will be as follows:

Tier 1 Ongoing monitoring and supply of repeat oral contraception (OC) prescriptions.
Tier 2 Initiation of OC via a Patient Group Direction (PGD).

The aim of the Pharmacy Contraception Service (PCS) is to offer greater choice from where  people can access contraception services and create additional capacity in primary care and sexual health clinics (or equivalent) to support meeting the demand for more complex assessments.

Case studies