Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)

Information for Primary Care healthcare professionals

The Community Pharmacist Consultation Service is an NHS-funded scheme that has been established in pharmacies across England since October 2019. The service initially managed referrals from NHS 111 for face-to-face or remote consultations with community pharmacists but has more recently been rolled out to include referrals from GP surgeries.

NHS England's plan for improving access for patients and supporting general practice, published on 14 October, states: "Use of the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) can help alleviate pressure on GP appointments by harnessing the skills and knowledge of community pharmacists to treat a range of minor illnesses. Using the service gives a patient a same-day appointment in a community pharmacy and helps improve patient experience, as well as directing demand to the most appropriate setting.

"800 practices are already signed up to provide the service. NHS England is providing support through a nationally procured resource that will help practices use the new service. All practices are encouraged to sign up by 1 December 2021. The PCN Investment and Impact Fund provides an incentive for PCNs to develop plans to implement CPCS or increase their current referral rate. Participation is also a condition of a practice being able to benefit from the Winter Access Fund."

Resources to support practices are available, here.