Pharmacy First service

The new Pharmacy First service, which was announced as part of an an agreement setting out how the £645 million investment pledged within the Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care will be used to support community pharmacy services.

The new national Pharmacy First service aims to support communities in staying well and local healthcare systems to meet the needs of their populations. The service will launch on 31st January 2024. The service involves providing consultations to give advice and NHS-funded treatment (via Patient Group Directions), where appropriate, for seven common conditions (clinical pathways consultations). The consultations can be provided to patients who self-refer to the pharmacy (e.g. walk-ins) as well as those referred by NHS 111, GPs and others.
The service will also incorporate the current Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS), meaning there will be three elements to the Pharmacy First service:

  • Pharmacy First (clinical pathways consultations) – new element (includes walk-ins)
  • Pharmacy First (urgent repeat medicine supply) – previously commissioned as the CPCS
  • Pharmacy First (NHS referrals for minor illness) – previously commissioned as the CPCS

Infections to be managed via Clinical Pathways:

Clinical Pathway 

Uncomplicated UTI
Infected Insect Bites
Sore Throat
Acute Otitis Media

Age range

Women 16-64 years
18 years and over
1 year and over
1 year and over
12 years and over
5 years and over
1 to 17 years

Patients may be referred to Pharmacy First by one of the following organisations/routes:

  • NHS 111 telephony or 111 online
  • Integrated urgent care clinical assessment service (IUC CAS)
  • 999 services
  • General practice (low acuity minor illness conditions and the seven clinical pathways only)
  • Other urgent and emergency care provider (e.g. UTC, ED, UCC)

Additionally, for the clinical pathway consultations only, patients can access the service by attending or contacting the pharmacy directly without the need for a referral.

An initial fixed payment of £2,000 will be available to claim from December up to the the launch of the Pharmacy First service, which will be reclaimed if pharmacy owners do not provide five clinical pathways consultations by the end of March 2024. From February 2024, in addition to the £15 consultation fee, a monthly fixed payment of £1,000 will be paid to pharmacy owners who meet a minimum activity threshold of clinical pathways consultations (the threshold will increase over time). Full details are available in Briefing 030/23: Funding for Pharmacy First, and other funding-related changes in the Recovery Plan deal.

Please click here to visit CPE for more information on the following:

  • Introduction and background
  • Service specification and other documentation
  • Getting ready to provide the service
  • Claim window for initial £2,000 fixed payment
  • PGDs and protocols
  • Webinars on-demand & drop-in sessions
  • Pathway videos
  • NHS England video clips
  • Funding and claiming payment
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Resources for the service
  • Resources to promote the service
  • Competency and Training requirements

Competency and training requirements:

The pharmacy owner must ensure that pharmacists providing the service are competent to do so, including the use of an otoscope (except for DSPs) and be familiar with the clinical pathways, clinical protocol and PGDs. This may involve completion of training.

CPPE Pharmacy First page (including the Pharmacy First self-assessment framework)

Other training options we have been made aware of:

Cliniskills training (NHS England funded) for Pharmacy First, including otoscope training webinar on 18th Jan 2024

Agilio iLearn Pharmacy First training

Local ENT/Otoscope training for pharmacists (including trainee pharmacists):

Humber LPC held local face to face training on the 31st Jan 2024 at The Village Hotel in Hull. Thank you to all who attended, we hope you found it useful and went away more confident in how to provide the service.

PharmOutcomes training guides:

A series of Pharmacy First guides have been provided by PharmOutcomes along with an instructional video guide for more information on how the service operates.

  • PharmOutcomes User Guide – Pharmacy First service guide
  • PharmOutcomes User Guide – Provider Pays – Costs, sign up and joining affinity groups
  • PharmOutcomes User Guide – PharmOutcomes Direct Registration Guide
  • PharmOutcomes User Guide – How to join an affinity group
  • NHS Pharmacy First – Minor Illness and Clinical Pathways video

View on PharmOutcomes website.

Annex D Key Contact Details:

Annex D’s for Pharmacy First have been prepared by the ICB and were emailed to all pharmacies on Friday the 26th of January 2024. There is one for Hull and ERoY, one for NL, and one for NEL. These are similar to the old Annex Cs required under CPCS. If you are unable to find the email or need copy of these contact details then please or

Virtual Outcomes Pharmacy First training:

Do you know that the Pharmacy First Service consists of 3 elements – 2 existing (CPCS) and 1 new one?
Do you know what your pharmacy needs to have in place and what training your pharmacists need to do?
Do you want to know the key points from the 7 clinical pathways?
This training will answer all these questions and more.

View flyer

Pharmacy First Advanced Service Objectives and Resources

Visit Virtual Outcomes


Find out more about the WiCS Local Pilot scheme:

The new locally commissioned Community Pharmacy Walk in Consultation Service (WiCS2) launched across Humber and North Yorkshire on 22 January 2024 and will be in operation until 31 March 2024.

The aim of the service is to relieve pressure across General Practice and Emergency Departments by offering screening and advice in the community for minor conditions that could take up valuable practice time and/or signpost more serious conditions in a more clinically efficient manner. Find out more…