Pharmacy First

The Pharmacy First service sees community pharmacists able to give advice to and if necessary treat or refer patients with uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) and Impetigo. To support this, each Health Board area has developed a service specification and PGDs to allow prescribing of antibiotic courses appropriate to each condition under certain conditions.

Prior to July 2019, Pharmacy First services (for uncomplicated UTIs and Impetigo only) were developed and delivered locally, though they were supported using monies from a transformational change fund following a successful national bid by CPS and NHS 24.

From 2019/20 onwards, the funding pot of £1.08m will become part of the Global sum and will be distributed centrally. This is a preparatory step as we move towards an extended MAS service launching in April 2020, which will include these services.

As such, the transitional funding arrangements for 2019/20 are as follows:

Period Payment Payment Method Action
April 2019 – June 2019 In the absence of robust data for all contractors for this period, £0.27m will be distributed to contractors evenly (£219 per contractor for the quarter) One off fee for the first quarter None
July 2019 – March 2020 £20 per activity* Payment made quarterly – noted on payment schedule as Pharmacy First. Contractors to complete pro-forma and submit to Health Board for processing.

*Pharmacy First “activity” is classed as advice, referral or supply to patients.

Pharmacy teams should make sure that they complete the form found at Annex A of the circular and send it to their Health Board by the 5th of each month to ensure accurate remuneration.

The community pharmacy contractor will ensure that all pharmacists involved in delivering the scheme complete the NES Pharmacy First training pack, on the Turas Learn platform available at and participate in any local training programme (including update training) as identified by the NHS Board in accordance with agreed local standards.

Please note – you may have worked in health board areas where there are more services available under the Pharmacy First banner (e.g. Flucloxacillin for minor skin infections, Aciclovir for shingles and COPD rescue packs). Where these exist, they will remain as locally developed and funded services and are not part of the national Pharmacy First service at present.

For further information about improving the use of antibiotics in the community, please visit the Scottish Antimicrobial Pharmacists’ Group.

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