Pharmacy

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 20 November 2023.

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Photo of Peter Dowd Peter Dowd Labour, Bootle

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the £645 million announced as part of the Government's delivery plan for the recovery of primary care, what progress her Department has made on its negotiations with Community Pharmacy England; and what her planned timescale is for launching the common conditions service.

Photo of Peter Dowd Peter Dowd Labour, Bootle

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department plans to take to support (a) distance-selling pharmacies and (b) other pharmacies to safely deliver the common conditions service.

Photo of Peter Dowd Peter Dowd Labour, Bootle

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department plans to take to ensure that pharmacies delivering the common conditions service are (a) delivering services to appropriate numbers of patients and (b) meeting high standards.

Photo of Peter Dowd Peter Dowd Labour, Bootle

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she has plans to expand the common conditions service beyond the initial seven conditions outlined in the Government’s Delivery Plan for Recovering Access to Primary Care.

Photo of Peter Dowd Peter Dowd Labour, Bootle

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the guidance by NHS England entitled Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care, published on 9 May 2023, what steps his Department is taking to provide (a) guidance and (b) funding to pharmacies for the common conditions service in 2023.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Negotiations with Community Pharmacy England (CPE) have concluded, and pharmacy contractors have been informed by a joint letter from the Department, NHS England and CPE about the detail of Pharmacy First including the funding of the service. That letter has been published on gov.uk. Pharmacy First will launch on 31 January 2024, subject to the IT underpinning the service being complete. The expansion of the Pharmacy Contraception Service will launch on 1 December together with a relaunch of the existing Blood Pressure Check Service.

Under Pharmacy First, community pharmacists will be able to supply prescription-only medicines, including antibiotics and antivirals where clinically appropriate, to treat seven common health conditions (sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women) without the need to visit a GP. The supply of prescription-only medicines will be under Patient Group Directions which are strict protocols for when a medicine can be supplied without a prescription. At present, there are no plans to expand the seven conditions.

Pharmacy First can be delivered remotely including by distance selling pharmacies but they will not be able to deliver the earache pathway because this requires someone to look in patient’s ear which cannot be done remotely.

Uptake and delivery of Pharmacy First will be closely monitored including the impact on antimicrobial resistance.

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