Over 8,500 community pharmacies in England have signed up to offer the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS), NHS England has announced.
A total of 8,649 community pharmacies – which represents almost three quarters of the 11,600 pharmacies in England – are registered to offer the minor ailments service, which kicked off on Tuesday (29 October).
As part of the five-year contract agreed in July, patients phoning NHS 111 for minor ailments or requiring urgent prescriptons can now be referred to their local community pharmacy for a same-day CPCS consultation, for which the pharmacist will receive a £14 fee.
‘A long time coming’
Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) chief executive Simon Dukes said: ‘The CPCS has been a long time coming.
‘Finally, pharmacists on the high street are being asked to use their clinical skills and knowledge to help patients manage minor conditions.
Deputy chief pharmaceutical officer Bruce Warner, said: ‘This represents a step change in the way people will be able to use their community pharmacists and get care, unlocking the full potential of pharmacy and giving it a role at the front of primary care.
‘Patient reaction to the pilot [of the scheme] was good, with eight out of 10 saying they were satisfied with the service they received and 90% saying they had high confidence in their pharmacist. Community pharmacies have embraced this role and we are extremely happy with the numbers that have signed up to deliver this service and offer a network across the country.’