Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) launches

Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) launches

October 31, 2019

The NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) launched on 29th October 2019, marking a significant moment for community pharmacy.

This new service enables NHS 111 to refer patients to community pharmacies when they have a minor illness or need an ’emergency supply’ of a medicine that they have previously been prescribed. The aim is to help relieve pressure on the wider NHS and speed up patient access to treatment by making use of pharmacists’ core knowledge and skills.

Following the successful piloting of its two predecessors – the NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS) and Digital Minor Illness Referral Service (DMIRS) – the CPCS has been nationally commissioned across England. The service is a key component of the five-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) settlement which came fully into effect this month.

Numerous community pharmacies have already signed up to offer the service. If your pharmacy has yet to do so, please note that you need to register by 1st December 2019 to receive the £900 Transitional payment. PSNC has developed a checklist to help you get ready to provide CPCS.

Whilst referrals are currently only available via NHS 111, referrals from other settings, such as GP practices, are being piloted and are expected to be rolled out in the near future.

Commenting on the launch of the service, Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services at PSNC said:

“The commencement of CPCS is a milestone for community pharmacy and its role within the NHS. The service will be instrumental in changing the public mindset to consider pharmacy as the first port of call for their healthcare needs. It will showcase the expertise of community pharmacists and the valuable work that pharmacies can do for their communities. As that value becomes clear, we hope to adapt the service in future years to cover self-referral by patients themselves.”

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