The Community Pharmacy England website includes details for the Self Care Essential Service and this can be accessed here: https://cpe.org.uk/national-pharmacy-services/essential-services/support-for-self-care/.
Minor Illnesses Resource Hub
Community Pharmacy England has collated a useful one-stop resource hub to support community pharmacy teams in managing minor illness. This includes identifying any red flag symptoms which may suggest the condition is not minor. See: – https://cpe.org.uk/minor-illnesses-resource-hub/
NHS England (NHSE) produced national guidance (March 2018) restricting the prescribing of OTC medicines for certain minor health conditions which are either “self-limiting” or suitable for “self-care”. Prescribers will direct patients to local community pharmacies to buy their own medicines over the counter if this is appropriate. This will inevitably increase the footfall through pharmacies and to make sure patients are given a consistent message it would be useful for pharmacy teams to understand NHS guidance on OTC prescribing.
A quick reference guide for healthcare professionals can be downloaded from: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/over-the-counter-quick-reference-guide.pdf.
There are some general exceptions to the NHSE self-care guidance, (refer to guidance for details), including patients presenting with red flag symptoms (see the minor illness resource link above for help with these) and when the product licence doesn’t allow the product to be sold over the counter to certain groups of patients.
PresQIPP have produced a useful guide which not only lists the self-care medicines which can be purchased OTC to treat self-limiting and minor illnesses but also includes their OTC sale restrictions. This may be a useful resource to share with GP colleagues to support local implementation of NHSE guidance. The full guide can be downloaded here or the quick reference guide here.
Dental Fact Sheets
Health Education England (HEE) have produced a series of dental factsheets for community pharmacy. The factsheets are intended to support and refresh knowledge and be used as a learning aid by all patient-facing staff in pharmacy when dealing with common dental presentations, helping community pharmacy teams to manage urgent dental and oral symptoms and to signpost patients to other services where indicated.
Last Updated: 17th December 2021