Pharmacy First

by | Feb 13, 2024 | Blog, Pharmacy

Pharmacy First officially launched on 1st February 2024 and 95% of pharmacies in England have signed up for the service. Pharmacists will soon have referrals from surgeries and from other sources for patients with sinusitis, sore throat, impetigo, UTIs, earache in Children, shingles and infected insect bites; and will be able to supply antibiotics where indicated.

Financially this is a timely shot in the arm to a hard-pressed sector with the Government earmarking £645m over two years to fund the service. Pharmacies get an initial £2k for signing up to the service  £1k per month for achieving minimum consultation numbers and £15 per consultation (plus the cost of medicines supplied). The maximum number of consultations per month is 3000 (which would net fees in excess of £500k!)

For most pharmacists, the introduction of this service will entail a lot of CPD and it will take time for them to get confident in undertaking examinations and following the various treatment pathways. Each consultation is likely to take around 15 minutes, with the completion of the online records and staff will need to adjust their working practices to ensure that pharmacists working in their pharmacies are able to deliver this service. However, in a recent survey of 4,500 pharmacists the PDA found that 49% believed they didn’t have enough support staff to provide existing services, let alone Pharmacy First. Of the remainder, 50% believed they only had sufficient support some of the time and only 1% believed they had sufficient staff all of the time.

Clearly, changes will need to be made within pharmacies if this service is to be delivered successfully and if the additional funding is to be realised. This may involve staff training, reorganisation and optimisation of the dispensing process, layout changes etc.

As a company Pharmacy Consulting has access to a wide body of experience in optimisation and refinement of pharmacies to allow the delivery of services, taking a holistic view of dispensing and service delivery.

Contact us to see if we can help you.

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