Essential Services

The first tier of NHS contractual services (CPCF) are the Essential Services. These services must all be provided by all community pharmacies that provide NHS pharmaceutical services.


The Essential services are listed as follows:

  • Dispensing medicines
  • Dispensing appliances
  • Repeat dispensing
  • Clinical governance
  • Promotion of healthy lifestyles
  • Disposal of unwanted medicines
  • Signposting
  • Support for self-care

Additionally, the following new services have also now been commissioned:

  • Discharge Medicines Service (DMS) …commissioned from 15th February 2021
  • Home delivery of medicines and appliances during the COVID-19 outbreak …commissioned during emergency pandemic only, initially defined as 9th April 2020 to 1st July 2020 then recommissioned 21st December 2020 to 31st March 2021*.

* The service is currently only ACTIVE for people notified of the need to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace in all areas of England from 1st April 2021 onwards. (see link below for details)

The CPCF places specific obligations on the contractor and is important that those providing services are familiar with each of these. The funding arrangements for these services are detailed in the monthly Drug Tariff.

For further detail please refer to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) web site: