Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)

We are delighted to introduce the new referral pathway to the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (NHS CPCS) for minor ailments. This scheme has been launched in response to patient feedback regarding GP appointment availability.

What is this new service about?

From 1st June 2021, when you call the practice, you will be asked about your symptoms. If they indicate that you can best be helped by a pharmacist, you will be offered a same day consultation with a community pharmacist at your choice of pharmacy.

Community pharmacists have the appropriate skill set to help with minor ailments and have already successfully seen thousands of patients using a similar service as NHS 111. 

Why are we doing this?

This scheme has been launched in response to patient feedback regarding GP appointment availability. Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals and experts in medicines. They can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for all sorts of minor ailments and a same day consultation can be arranged quickly and at a time to suit you. This in turns frees up GP appointments for those people with more complex symptoms who urgently need to see a GP.

Why is this a good thing for patients?

Community pharmacies are open longer hours than the GP practice and can offer you the same consultation outcome at a time that is more convenient. If the pharmacist thinks you need to see the GP, they can help arrange an urgent appointment for you. Patients who have already used the service liked the convenience of having a consultation on the same day, or a day that suited them, at a pharmacy of their choice. 

What happens when I see the community pharmacist?

All receptionists have been trained in triage for minor ailments. If you contact your GP practice to arrange an appointment for one of these ailments the receptionist will ask you a few questions and then, if appropriate, will organise a referral for you to see your chosen pharmacist. You will then be given the contact details for your chosen pharmacy and they will be notified of your referral. Once you have contacted your pharmacy the pharmacist will provide a clinical consultation ending with the same advice and treatment as would be offered in a GP appointment. 

The pharmacist will send details of your consultation back to us for our records. If the pharmacist feels you need to be seen by a GP urgently, they will call us to ensure you are seen, or they will advise you to contact the hospital Emergency Department if deemed necessary.

What if I get free prescriptions from my GP?

Your pharmacist will provide you with advice on how to treat your symptoms, which may include a medicine or product. If you are eligible for free prescriptions you may also me eligible for certain medications free from a pharmacy via the Pharmacy First scheme. Medicines that can be purchased in a pharmacy to treat minor illnesses are usually inexpensive and would not normally be prescribed by your GP anyway.

What happens if I don’t want to see the pharmacist?

We want to ensure that you are offered an appointment with the most appropriate qualified health care professional based on your symptoms. If you have minor illness symptoms that can be treated the same day through a consultation with a qualified community pharmacist, but do not want to accept this referral, you will be offered a routine appointment with your GP at a future date.

What if the patient is my child?

Children aged over two years are eligible to use this service and can be seen by the pharmacist.