Pavilion Health Today
Supporting healthcare professionals to deliver the best patient care

Contraceptive pills now available direct from pharmacists

Women will be able to get their contraceptive pill directly from their local pharmacy from next month without the need for a GP appointment or prescription.

Women will be able to get their contraceptive pill directly from their local pharmacy from next month without the need for a GP appointment or prescription.

From early next year, patients can also receive treatment for seven common conditions from their pharmacist. These are sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women.

The rollout is part of the NHS and government’s primary care access recovery plan which aims to make it quicker and easier for millions of people to access healthcare on their high street. It is hoped that it will save over 10 million GP appointments a year by next winter, and give the public more choice in where and how they access care.

New health and Social Care Secretary, Victoria Atkins, said: “It is a pleasure to start my time as Secretary of State with such a positive example of the government, NHS and pharmacy sector working together to reach an agreement to improve services and save lives.

“For the public these changes will mean more options for women when making a choice about their preferred contraception, reduce the risks of people suffering heart attacks and strokes and make it easier to access medicines for common conditions. And for healthcare professionals this will free up GP appointments and make better use of the skills and expertise within community pharmacies.”

New contraceptive plan will improve access to general practice

The plans, known as Pharmacy First, aim to utilise high street chemists more effectively as part of the wider primary care recovery plan and help improve access to general practice by freeing up appointments. A consultation has already been launched to enable pharmacy technicians to supply and administer medicines and the responses are currently being reviewed.

This includes a commitment to deliver 2.5 million blood pressure checks to at-risk patients over the next year up from 900,000 carried out last year.  It is estimated this could prevent more than 1,350 heart attacks and strokes in the first year.

More than a hundred pharmacies took part in the contraceptive pilot earlier this year with more than 4,500 women who had already accessed the pill able to receive an ongoing supply of oral contraception at their local pharmacy.

Janet Morrison, Chief Executive at Community Pharmacy England, said: “It makes perfect sense to use community pharmacies as a first port of call for healthcare advice, access to contraception and health checks such as blood pressure tests. Local pharmacies are staffed by highly qualified healthcare professionals and empowering them to do more is a logical next step for primary care. These new services will help patients and the public, as well as reducing pressure on GPs and the wider NHS.

“The investment in these services is desperately needed and welcome: pharmacies want to offer these services, and in future, we hope to see pharmacies getting even more support, with more services available and independent prescribing commonplace.

“Pharmacy teams will remain very busy throughout this winter but they will be working hard to build these new services into their daily workload when they relaunch. We hope that members of the public will want to take full advantage of the offer from community pharmacies in due course.”



This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read more ...

Privacy & Cookies Policy