What Counts as a Consultation...

Wednesday, August 19, 2020


NHS Pharmacy First Scotland Consultations
At CPS, we have had an increasing number of enquiries around what can and cannot be recorded as a consultation under NHS Pharmacy First Scotland, As this is by far and away our number one FAQ, we thought it would be worthwhile getting in touch with contractors to provide a clear answer. This can be shared with your teams should they need further guidance. We will also be publishing short supportive messages in our newsletter over the coming months to continue this messaging.

What counts as a consultation under NHS PFS?

  • A consultation has to be in response to symptoms
  • The patient must discuss their symptoms with a member of the pharmacy team
  • The pharmacy team must assess these symptoms using their knowledge and skills, referring to the Pharmacist where necessary
  • The pharmacy team must make a recommendation on the most appropriate outcome, which can be: Advice on managing the condition only
  • Referral to another healthcare professional or team along with advice on managing the condition
  • Treatment and advice on managing the condition
  • This can be supplied for free on the NHS if it is on the approved list
  • A treatment can be purchased by the patient if it does not appear on the approved list (record as advice only)

What does not count as a consultation under NHS PFS?

  • A sale of a treatment should not be recorded if there is no conversation about symptoms, no assessment of symptoms or if the pharmacy team do not make a recommendation on the outcome of the consultation
  • For example - if someone purchases paracetamol tablets and the pharmacy team only provides advice about how to use them, this should not be recorded.
  • Similarly, general advice on medicines use as opposed to advice as a result of a person-centred consultation should not be recorded
  • For example, if someone asked how best to apply a steroid cream, this should not be recorded.
  • If a patient does not want to discuss their symptoms or take any advice, they cannot access the service.
  • For example, if someone does not engage in the pharmacy team’s questions about their hayfever following a direct product request, this interaction should not be recorded.
  • Or, if the patient clearly states that they do not want to access the service, then any consultation that takes place should not be recorded.

These examples are not exhaustive, and we will all learn as the service beds in across the country and we come across new scenarios. If you or your team need any advice or support around the recording of consultations, or any aspect of NHS PFS, please just get in touch at enquiries@cps.scot.