The Pharmacy First Service is a new NHS initiative that allows patients to get free advice on minor ailments from their local community pharmacists. Starting the 31st of January 2024, as part of the Pharmacy First scheme pharmacists will be providing advice and NHS-funded treatment for 7 common minor ailments. But what does this mean for locums?

Locum Pharmacist Checklist: Getting Started with Pharmacy First

Community Pharmacy England has produced a comprehensive checklist for all pharmacists on how to prepare for the Pharmacy First service which you can check out here. Locum pharmacists need to be prepared to assist pharmacies in delivering these services as we predict this will begin appearing as a shift requirement from the 1st of February 2024 onwards.

Do Your Homework

It is important as a locum pharmacist that you are fully read up on the Pharmacy First Service to ensure you understand what is required within the service. Community Pharmacy England has an FAQ section on their website as well as the full specifications, clinical pathways and protocols (found here).

Complete the Self-Assessment

CPPE has pulled together a self-assessment framework (click here) where you can review and test your existing knowledge of the services. This will also prove a useful tool to identify any gaps in your knowledge and future training needs. If you identify any gaps in your knowledge ensure you address these before completing any of the services.

✅ Time to Get Trained

CPPE have listed lots of different learning resources to help you get prepared to deliver the Pharmacy First Service (click here). Also, our Locate Learning e-learning hub also has some useful resources on some of the core 7 conditions targeted by the Pharmacy First service, log into your Locate Learning profile today to get instant access!

✅ Stay in the loop

Make sure you stay in the loop and are signed up for your local LPC newsletter as they will be giving out information on different training initiatives in your area. Pharmacy News agents will also be giving updates on the service as it develops so ensure you keep up to date as it is a new service so will be developing over the next few months. Locate a Locum will also be keeping our members updated via our weekly and monthly newsletters.

What do locums need to consider for delivering Pharmacy First Services?

Moving forward it is important to check when you are booking your locum shifts to see if that pharmacy has opted-in to the Pharmacy First Service. Recent news articles have shown that 90% of pharmacies in the UK have signed up to Pharmacy First already, so it is essential that locums are equipped to deliver these services. One thing to consider is that it may be beneficial for you to have your own equipment to perform some of these services such as an otoscope for when treating acute otitis media.

“Pharmacy First Service is one of the biggest shake-ups to community pharmacy in a number of years and it is important that all locum pharmacists make sure they are in the know and up to date with all the requirements,” Jonathan Clarke, CEO of Locate a Locum.

“When working as a locum, you need to make yourself as attractive as possible to future employers that includes being fully trained in these new services - that is how you can ensure you get the best shifts at the best rate! It is also up to employers to set a rate that is fair for providing additional services.”

Keep an eye on your inbox as we will be sending our locums more resources and information on Pharmacy First soon.

Thanks for reading, have a great day!
Locate a Locum Team