Think Pharmacy First


When we're sick, we all want to feel better as quickly as possible and speak to someone who can help. with longer opening hours than GPs and highly qualified staff. Your local pharmacy can give you the answers and medicine you need to start feeling better. 


Did you know that

Your local pharmacist is on hand for a range of long-term conditions and minor concerns. If required, they can also help you decide which service to use or whether you need to see a local GP or visit A&E.


What can they help with? 

As qualified healthcare professionals, they can offer help with and provide over-the-counter medicines for things such as:


  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Athletes foot
  • Bites/ Stings 
  • Cold sores
  • Conjunctivitis 
  • Constipation
  • Minor burns and scalds 
  • Coughs 
  • Colds
  • Flu 
  • Earache
  • Cystitus
  • Skin rashes 
  • Teething
  • Red eye
  • Sexual health 
  • Thrush
  • Health and wellbeing advice 


What services do they offer? 


Without the need for an appointment, they can assist with things like:


  • Dispensing NHS prescriptions 
  • Providing you with an emergency supply of medicine (subject to their discretion) 
  • Inhaler techniques 
  • Understanding the correct dose of new medications and how often you need to take 
  • Flu vaccinations 
  • Emergency contraception and sexual health screenings and treatment 
  • General health screenings for blood pressure and cholesterol 
  • Stop-smoking advice 


Benefits of using the pharmacy 


Not only does it help free up local GP appointments for those who need them most, but you can also get the added benefit of: 


  • No appointment is necessary.
  • A consultation room for privacy 
  • Instant advice on where to go and how long to expect to experience symptoms




Launch of NHS Pharmacy First


The new Pharmacy First Service will enable community Pharmacists to complete episodes of care for patients without the need for the patient to visit their general practice. This alongside expansions to the pharmacy blood pressure checking and contraception services, will save up to 10 million general practice team appointments a year and help patients access quicker and more convenient care, including the supply of appropriate medicines for minor illness. 


The Pharmacy First Service builds on the previous Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) by enabling community pharmacies to manage patients for seven common conditions, following specific clinical pathways. The overal service consists of three core elements: 

  • Pharmacy First (clinical pathways) - new element 
  • Pharmacy First (urgent repeat medicine supply) - previously commissioned as the CPCS 
  • Pharmacy First (NHS referrals for minor illness) - previously commissioned as the CPCS 

The seven conditions are: 


Clinical Pathway

Age Range

Acute Otitis Media

1-17 years


1 year and over

Infected insect bites

1 year and over


18 years and over


12 years and over

Sore throat

5 years and over

Uncomplicated urinary tract infections

Women 16-64 years


Patients will access the new clinical pathway element by walking into the pharmacy directly or where appropriate, by contacting them by video consultation. In addition, patients will access the service via referrals from: 

  • NHS 111 (online, telephone or NHS app) 
  • integrated urgent care clinical assessment services 
  • urgent treatment centres 
  • emergency departments 
  • 999 
  • general practice ( GPs cannot make a referral for urgent repeat medicine supply)