Pharmacy First

The Pharmacy First service, which will commence on 31st January 2024 (subject to the required IT systems being in place).

What does the service involve?

The new Advanced service involves pharmacists providing advice and NHS-funded treatment, where clinically appropriate, for seven common conditions:

  • sinusitis
  • sore throat
  • acute otitis media
  • infected insect bite
  • impetigo
  • shingles
  • uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women.

The service will also incorporate the existing elements of the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service, i.e. minor illness consultations with a pharmacist and the supply of urgent medicines (and appliances), both following a referral from NHS 111, general practices and other authorised healthcare providers (i.e. patients are not able to present to the pharmacy without a referral).

The service requirements are included in the service specification and the associated clinical pathways.

Download the service specification and clinical pathways

The 23 patient group directions (PGD) and one protocol for the service will be used to authorise supply of medicines at NHS expense. These documents have been published in draft form:

Download the PGDs and protocol

Distance Selling Pharmacies (DSPs) will be able to provide six of the seven Pharmacy First clinical pathways remotely via video consultations but may not provide clinical pathways consultations on their premises (due to links with the support for self-care Essential service and restrictions regarding the provision of Essential services on the pharmacy premises).

The acute otitis media clinical pathway requires the use of an otoscope, so that pathway will not be provided by DSPs.

There are many resources available via the CPE website

Pharmacy First specification

(Guidance on selecting a suitable otoscope can be found in Annex C)

NHS England » Community Pharmacy advanced service specification: NHS Pharmacy First Service
23 PGDs & 1 protocol NHS Pharmacy First Service (PFS) | NHSBSA


Chief Officer presentation and video PPT Nov 23rd (


Checklist for pharmacy owners PF-implementation-checklist-pharmacy-owner-Jan-2023.pdf (
Checklist for pharmacists PF-implementation-checklist-pharmacists-Jan-2023.pdf (
CPPE self-assessment framework nhs-phrm-first-saf.docx (


Fully funded, free to access clinical examination skills training resource from the NHS, designed specifically for community pharmacists.


Community Pharmacists | CliniSkills


Consultation room requirements Regs reminder (#14): Consultation rooms and remote consultations – Community Pharmacy England (
Contractors wanting to sign up must notify NHSE via completing their declaration via NHSBSA
Further information & resources Pharmacy First service – Community Pharmacy England (

This video provides an overview of the Minor Illness and Clinical Pathway aspects of the pathway. For detailed information on the Urgent Supply module, kindly refer to the specific video guide on Urgent Supply Referrals.

Pinnacle Media (