Pharmacy First Service

Details of a new national Pharmacy First Service were recently announced as part of an agreement setting out how the £645 million investment pledged within the Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care will be used to support community pharmacy services.

Under the agreement, a new Pharmacy First Service which includes providing advice and NHS-funded treatment, where appropriate, for seven common conditions will be launched on 31st January 2024 (subject to the required IT systems being in place) as an Advanced Service.

The Pharmacy First Service will enable patients to visit pharmacies, as a first port of call, for greater help with a range of common health conditions. The service includes the following 7 new clinical pathways:

  • Sinusitis
  • Sore throat
  • Earache
  • Infected insect bite
  • Impetigo
  • Shingles
  • Uncomplicated UTI in women


Once Pharmacy First is launched it will incorporate the current Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) and will include the following 3 elements:-

  1. Pharmacy First (clinical pathways) – NEW element.
  2. Pharmacy First (NHS referrals for minor illness) – previously named as CPCS/GP CPCS.
  3. Pharmacy First (urgent repeat medicine supply) – previously named as CPCS.


The clinical pathways element of Pharmacy First will enable pharmacists to offer advice to patients and, where clinically appropriate, supply some POMs under Patient Group Directions.

The existing referral routes for the CPCS will apply to the new Pharmacy First service, however, patients will also be able to self-refer to a pharmacy for the clinical pathway’s element (subject to the patient passing a clinically established gateway point in the relevant clinical pathway).

Read more about the Pharmacy First Advanced Service on the CPE webpage here.


CPE Briefing & Letters

Briefing 029/23: Recovery Plan agreement – Summary and FAQs for pharmacy owners and LPCs

Briefing 030/23: Funding for Pharmacy First, and other funding-related changes in the Recovery Plan deal

NHSE/CPE Letter – Pharmacy First: 2023/24 to 2024/25


CPWY Bulletins

Bulletin 1 – Introduction to the New National Pharmacy First Service22nd November 2023



Last Updated: 21st November 2023