The service specification for the incoming Pharmacy First scheme has been published by NHS England.

The service, due to start at the end of January 2024, will cover seven common conditions – earache, impetigo, infected insect bite, shingles, sinusitis, sore throat, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women – alongside the current elements of the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service.

The clinical pathways for the seven conditions included in the service have also been published.

The specification provides details of the service objectives, as well as requirements for service provision (including equipment and service availability), service description, clinical skills and knowledge (including competency requirements and evidence), governance and payment arrangements.

Details on withdrawal from the service, monitoring and post payment verification are also included.

The remaining documents for the new service to be published are the 23 patient group directions, and one protocol to be used to authorise supply of medicines at NHS expense, where clinically appropriate, following a consultation for one of the seven conditions.

These documents are expected to be published in draft form later this week, according to Community Pharmacy England (CPE).

CPE also said it will be publishing more guidance on the service and resources for pharmacy owners and their teams over the next few weeks.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow…