NHS England has announced a new NHS community pharmacy contraception management service pilot.
The routine monitoring of patients taking oral contraception was flagged as a prevention service as part of a repeat prescription process linked with general practice. This pilot is the first step in testing a model with the potential for:
- Community pharmacies to provide more access to ongoing oral contraception (Tier 1).
- Exploring the possibility of community pharmacies initiating access to contraception (Tier 2) and recognising it as a place to support wider patient choice and create capacity.
The English pilot will run from 30th September 2021 to 30th September 2022 with the possibility of extension.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has responded to news that community pharmacies will be able to offer contraceptive pill checks as part of a pilot scheme from NHS England.
The pilot will give patients better access to contraception and sexual health services, as well as freeing up general practice and the NHS.
The scheme started on Thursday, September 30 and will run for a year.
Thorrun Govind, Chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board, said:
“We are pleased that the pilot will improve access to contraception and sexual health services and, as medicines experts, pharmacists are well placed to deliver this service and support the public with healthcare advice.
“People seeking this support for contraception can be assured that pharmacists are trained to deliver contraceptive services, as seen recently with the move to offer a progestogen-only pill over the counter at pharmacies.
“The public will be able to visit a pharmacy without an appointment and receive support and advice from a trained professional, whilst also reducing pressure on general practice and the NHS.”
Meanwhile, in Scotland, a bridging contraception service will be added to the community pharmacy Public Health Service from 9th November 2021. The Directions for the Public Health Service are amended to enable community pharmacies to provide a 3 month supply of desogestrel as bridging contraception.