The NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) has been extended to include referrals from general practices as well as from NHS 111.
GPs will be able to refer patients to community pharmacies to receive a CPCS consultation for minor illness.
Commenting on the official start of the new referral pathway, Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services at PSNC said:
“The rollout of this new referral pathway will be gradually achieved over the next few months; this is deliberately not a big bang start. However, the official commencement is still a noteworthy event, as we expect this addition to the CPCS to become a community pharmacy service offering which is highly valued by patients and general practice alike.
“The successful rollout of this service will rely on team working, with NHSE&I regional teams providing local leadership and support, with assistance from others, including LPCs.
“The NHS has a significant task to undertake in supporting general practices to engage with the CPCS. Discussions between community pharmacy and general practice within PCNs will also be critical to achieving a successful local rollout. In some cases this may be the first time the two professions have had such discussions, but while there may be challenges to overcome, this referral pathway should create a new foundation of collaboration between general practices and pharmacies, which can be built on in the years ahead.”