(CPCS) Community Pharmacist Consultation Service

The NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service launched on 29th October 2019 as an Advanced Service.

Since 1st November 2020, general practices have been able to refer patients for a minor illness consultation via CPCS, once a local referral pathway has been agreed.

Read more about the GP referral pathway

The service, which replaced the NUMSAS and DMIRS pilots, connects patients who have a minor illness or need an urgent supply of a medicine with a community pharmacy.

As well as referrals from general practices, the service takes referrals to community pharmacy from NHS 111 (and NHS 111 online for requests for urgent supply), Integrated Urgent Care Clinical Assessment Services and in some cases patients referred via the 999 service.

The CPCS aims to relieve pressure on the wider NHS by connecting patients with community pharmacy, which should be their first port of call and can deliver a swift, convenient and effective service to meet their needs. Since the CPCS was launched, an average of 10,500 patients per week being referred for a consultation with a pharmacist following a call to NHS 111; these are patients who might otherwise have gone to see a GP

The CPCS provides the opportunity for community pharmacy to play a bigger role than ever within the urgent care system.


Patients being referred to the CPCS are now being told to phone the pharmacy and to speak to the pharmacist. Unless there is a clinical need for the patient to be seen in the pharmacy, the pharmacist can provide a consultation by telephone, as is provided for in the service specification. If the consultation is conducted in this manner, the pharmacy is eligible to claim the fee for provision of the service.

More CPCS referrals expected to community pharmacy from NHS 111 

NHS England and NHS Improvement have announced on 14th January 2022 that community pharmacy contractors can expect to receive more referrals from NHS 111 for the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) following a review of the NHS Pathway algorithms.

The changes introduce three new condition types (scratches and grazes, teething, sinusitis) and incorporate general health information requests. Based on NHS 111 call volumes data, these changes could generate 275,000 additional referral opportunities annually.

Read more about the additions

Please click here to visit PSNC for more info on the following:

  • CPCS service specification
  • CPCS Toolkit for pharmacy staff
  • CPCS – When is it complete?
  • GP referral pathway
  • Additional resources for pharmacy teams (including learning and development)
  • Funding, claiming payment and post-payment verification
  • IT  requirements and support
  • Resources for LPCs
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Pharmacy contractors can register to provide the service via the NHSBSA Manage Your Service (MYS) portal.

Free Training available to Humber pharmacies via Virtual Outcomes:

Access FREE CPCS & GP CPCS Pharmacy Training via Virtual Outcomes

Free training via the RPS:

To find out more and book your free place visit the Royal Pharmaceutical Society website.

Annex C (Key Contact Details) are available from NHS England and have been shared with all pharmacies to their NHS shared mailbox; therefore please check your mailbox and junk filter.

Please Note: If you are ever made aware that the details are out of date please email england.pharmacyreturns@nhs.net and they will look to update the documents and recirculate.

CPCS, Red Drugs and Prescibing Guidlines:

CPCS, Red drugs and Prescibing Guidlines

PharmOutcomes guides and training video:

We would recommend that all contractors as a minimum watch this 9 minute video, if you have already watched, it’s worth another watch as a refresher:

As well as this video, there are also some handy user guides with screen shots of the platform, the video and guides are all available on the following website: https://pharmoutcomes.org/pharmoutcomes/help/home?cpcs, and can also be accessed below:

PSNC guide to help contractors decide when a CPCS referral is complete and so to submit a claim: CPCS – when is it complete? v1 (July 2021)

GP CPCS Annex F – Set up payment deadline 30th June 2021:
If you attended our training on Thursday 17th June, you will already know what to do to complete the Annex F requirements, if you didn’t attend, you can view the training slides below and follow the embedded links to see what is required. You then have until Monday 5th July 2021 to claim your £300 setup payment via MYS.  We had close to 100 contractors attend the event and many other contractors have already claimed the set-up fee. If you didn’t attend, or have not already claimed the setup fee, and after reading the event slides, and following the recommended links, you are still unsure if you meet the Annex F requirements, then contact the LPC office at humber.lpc@nhs.net for advice.

Click here to view the Humber LPC training slides