Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)

Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)

The NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service launched on 29th October 2019 as an Advanced Service.

The service, which replaced the NUMSAS and DMIRS pilots, connects patients who have a minor illness or need an urgent supply of a medicine with a community pharmacy.

The CPCS takes referrals to community pharmacy from NHS 111 (and NHS 111 online for requests for urgent supply), Integrated Urgent Care Clinical Assessment Services and in some cases patients referred via the 999 service. From 1st November 2020, general practices can refer patients for a minor illness consultation via CPCS, once a local referral pathway has been agreed.

The CPCS aims to relieve pressure on the wider NHS by connecting patients with community pharmacy, which should be their first port of call and can deliver a swift, convenient and effective service to meet their needs. Since the CPCS was launched, an average of 10,500 patients per week being referred for a consultation with a pharmacist following a call to NHS 111; these are patients who might otherwise have gone to see a GP

The CPCS provides the opportunity for community pharmacy to play a bigger role than ever within the urgent care system.

COVID-19 update: patients being referred to the CPCS are now being told to phone the pharmacy and to speak to the pharmacist. Unless there is a clinical need for the patient to be seen in the pharmacy, the pharmacist can provide a consultation by telephone, as is provided for in the service specification. If the consultation is conducted in this manner, the pharmacy is eligible to claim the fee for provision of the service.

Click on a link below for more information.

CPCS service specification (Updated 29th October 2020)
The service specification describes the requirements for provision of the service and it is essential reading for all pharmacists providing the service. Changes were made to the service specification in late October 2020 in readiness for the addition of the GP referral pathway on 1st November 2020.

CPCS Toolkit for pharmacy staff (Updated 29th October 2020)
The toolkit provides further information on the CPCS for pharmacy teams, including materials which can be used to brief team members on the service.

The revised service specification and toolkit for pharmacy staff are currently working their way through the NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) internal approvals system, so draft versions have been published on the NHSBSA website, in advance of the publication of the final versions on the NHSE&I website.

Pharmacy contractors can register to provide the service via the NHSBSA Manage Your Service (MYS) portal.

GP referral pathway (New)

Additional resources for pharmacy teams (including learning and development)

Funding, claiming payment and post-payment verification

IT  requirements and support

Resources for LPCs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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