Essential Services


Essential Services

Dispensing – the safe supply of medicines or appliances. Advice is given to the patient about the medicines being dispensed and how to use them. Records are kept of all medicines dispensed and significant advice provided, referrals and interventions made.

Repeat dispensing – the management of repeat medication for up to one year, in partnership with the patient and prescriber. The patient will return to the pharmacy for repeat supplies, without first having to visit the GP surgery. Before each supply the pharmacy will ascertain the patient’s need for a repeat supply of a particular medicine. See also eRD

Disposal of unwanted medicines – pharmacies accept unwanted medicines from individuals. The medicines are then safely disposed of.

Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles (Public health) – opportunistic one to one advice is given on healthy lifestyle topics, such as stopping smoking, to certain patient groups who present prescriptions for dispensing. Pharmacies will also get involved in six local campaigns a year, organised by NHS England. Campaign examples may include promotion of flu vaccination uptake or advice on increasing physical activity.

Signposting patients to other healthcare providers – pharmacists and staff will refer patients to other healthcare professionals or care providers when appropriate. The service also includes referral on to other sources of help such as local or national patient support groups. Support for self-care – the provision of advice and support by pharmacy staff to enable people to derive maximum benefit from caring for themselves or their families. The main focus is on self-limiting illness, but support for people with long-term conditions is also a feature of the service.

For further information on the provision of essential services provided by pharmacies please see PSNC’s Essential Services.