Tier 1 Advanced – ongoing supply of oral contraception

From Spring 2023, pharmacies have the option to register for the Pharmacy Contraception advanced service and all community pharmacists offering the service will have demonstrated competence in the specific skills and knowledge required.

The service is an integrated pathway between existing services and community pharmacies to enable greater choice and to widen access to services and support for high-risk communities and vulnerable patients.

A person may self-refer or be referred by their general practice, sexual health clinic or equivalent to a participating pharmacy. The pharmacist will offer a confidential consultation and as part of that will reach a shared decision with the person on the ongoing supply of their current oral contraception, ensuring clinical appropriateness.

This is an NHS service and so the supply of oral contraception will be exempt from any prescription charges.

How people access the service

People access the service by one of the following routes:

  • identified as clinically suitable by the community pharmacist and accept the offer of the service
  • self-refer to a community pharmacy
  • referred by their general practice as they have requested a repeat prescription and a review is needed
  • referred from a sexual health clinic (or equivalent) or
  • referred from other NHS service providers, eg urgent treatment centres or NHS 111.

People who wish to consult another healthcare provider for contraception support are still free to do so.

The Pharmacy Contraception Service – Tier 1 Advanced, Ongoing supply of contraception specification can be found on our website.