The Community Pharmacists Consultation Service (CPCS) was introduced as as result of two successful pilot scheme that aimed to integrate community pharmacy into local NHS urgent care pathways.

The service itself is based on a referral from the NHS 111 platform and the process is that following an assessment by a call advisor, the patient is transferred for a consultation with a community pharmacist instead of being booked into an urgent appointment with a GP, out of hours doctor or signposted to book an appointment with their own GP.

This is all part of the NHS plan to reduce pressure on urgent and emergency care services.

What do pharmacists need to know?

Pharmacists will already possess the relevant skills necessary to provide this new service but it will be important that they;

  • Have an up to date understanding of the Human Medicines Regulations (HMR) in relation to the emergency supply of Prescription Only Medicines (POM).
  • Can communicate with and advise patients appropriately and effectively on low acuity conditions.
  • Can assess the clinical needs of patients, including the identification of Red Flags (which are detailed in NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries).
  • Can act on the referrals received and make appropriate referrals to other NHS services and healthcare professionals.
  • Can explain the service to patients and carers.

The NHS has published a full guide to the CPCS which you can find here.

What do Pharmacists need to do?

As part of the CPCS, all Pharmacists in England who are working with an employer who provides this service must have completed the CPPE Summary Care Records 2019 training and assessment online.

Once you have completed the Summary Care Records 2019 training, you must then apply for access to the Summary Care Records.

The CPCS comes in to effect on October 29th 2019 so this should be treated as a matter of urgency.

Pharmacists must arrive at their shifts with a Smartcard.

Locum Pharmacists must be aware of the service and read the relevant SOPs so they too can provide the service.

If you require any further information you can contact our team via online chat or email

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Locate a Locum Team