Pharmacy First goes live on February 1st, 2024

Starting February 1st, 2024, NHS England has created a new scheme to help ease the pressure on UK General Practice.  It is called “Pharmacy First pathways”, encouraging eligible patients to utilise these services for timely and effective care.  “Right patient, Right place, Right time, First time”. Clinical pathway Age range Sore throat 5 years and

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Pharmacy First goes live on February 1st, 2024

Starting February 1st, 2024, NHS England has created a new scheme to help ease the pressure on UK General Practice.  It is called “Pharmacy First pathways”, encouraging eligible patients to utilise these services for timely and effective care.  “Right patient, Right place, Right time, First time”.

Clinical pathwayAge range
Sore throat5 years and over
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)Women 16-64 years
Ear ache/pain (Acute Otitis Media)1 to 17 years
Infected insect bites1 year and over
Impetigo1 year and over
Shingles       18 years and over
Sinusitis12 years and over

The revamped Pharmacy First pathway operates as a walk-in service, but can also be referred into via other services, including:

  • NHS 111 (online, telephone, and NHS App)
  • Integrated Urgent Care Clinical Assessment Services
  • Urgent Treatment Centres
  • Emergency Departments
  • 999
  • General Practice

The enhanced Pharmacy First Service empowers community pharmacists to manage patient care without the need for a General Practice visit. This, coupled with expanded pharmacy services like Blood Pressure checking and Contraception, is projected to save up to 10 million General Practice team appointments annually. Patients can now access quicker and more convenient care, including the supply of appropriate medicines for minor illnesses. Pharmacists are trained to gather medical histories, assess, diagnose, and treat patients. If your symptom or condition is more complex, Pharmacists will guide you to the most appropriate next service (GP, Urgent Treatment Centre, Emergency Department, or 999).

For more information about the service please visit https://www.england.nhs.uk/long-read/launch-of-nhs-pharmacy-first-advanced-service/

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