Community Pharmacy

Community pharmacists usually work in the high street, local and rural pharmacies.

They are involved in the sale and supply of medicines and give advice about medicines, symptoms and general health matters. They are responsible for dispensing medicines, counsel patients on their proper use, clarify with GPs and other prescribers that dosages are correct, and check that new treatments are compatible with other medicines the patient may be taking.

Community Pharmacy "Declaration of Competence"  to replace HAG.

Supporting Community Pharmacy in Service Provision within the new Commissioning Landscape

A new model has been developed to support the pharmacy profession in service provision within the new NHS commissioning landscape. This work has been undertaken by the Harmonisation of Accreditation Group (HAG) which previously developed Competency and Training Frameworks (C&TF) for cross accreditation of enhanced services (LES). The approach taken has been to move forward from ‘accreditation’ towards a ‘declaration of competence’ model. This aligns to the model for the New Medicines service self-assessment with which pharmacy professionals are already familiar. Click here for more information.


What else is new?

Extension to the new medicine service (NMS) (Mar 2014)

NHS England has been considering the short term future of the new medicine service (NMS), in discussion with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee. It has been agreed that the NMS will be extended to run throughout 2014/15, subject to the outcome of the evaluation. Should the evaluation results fail to confirm a positive impact, the service may be terminated with a minimum of three months’ notice and any unspent funding reinvested in other areas of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework.

Supervision in community pharmacy   (Feb 2014)

This research investigates current arrangements for supervision, role delegation and skill mix in community pharmacy and aimed to seek stakeholders’ perceived risk levels associated with different types of pharmacy activities and services, and views on potential changes to supervision requirements. It identified those activities that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians agreed can be undertaken during the pharmacist’s absence. More ....

Call to Action - Developing the future of community pharmacy (Jan 2014)

Your Pharmacy Local Professional Network (LPN) needs your views to shape the future of community pharmacy

NHS England recognises the immense contribution that community pharmacists make to patient care and health outcomes and is inviting them to play an even stronger role and influence the future sustainability of the NHS. To stimulate debate in local communities the Greater Manchester Area Team is holding two engagement events as part of the Pharmacy Call to Action. These will give you the chance to add your ideas and views to the Greater Manchester response.  Learn more here.

New RPS Community Pharmacy online hub (Jan 2014)

The RPS has produced an online community pharmacy hub to support pharmacists who have an interest in or work in the community sector. This hub page has been designed to bring together in one place all support resources and relevant RPS work. It provides you with information and guidance to support you in your day-to-day practice, empowering you to practice professionally and confidently in your role.

You can contact the RPS support team if you have any enquiries on this hub page on 0845 257 2570 or email .

Supporting the safe and effective supply of Pharmacy medicines (Nov 2013)

The GPhC has outlined how it proposes to support the safe and effective supply of Pharmacy (P) medicines the paper: 'Developing guidance to support the safe and effective supply of ‘Pharmacy (P)’ medicines.'  This paper describes the key areas as accountability; managing risk; staff; and involving patients in decision making and communicating effectively.

General pharmaceutical services in England – ten year view (Nov 2013)

The Health and Social Care Information Centre has published information about community pharmacies and appliance contractors in England between 2003-04 and 2012-13. Key facts include:

  • NHS Business Services Authority reports show that there were 11,495 community pharmacies in England at 31 March 2013, compared to 11,236 at 31 March 2012, an increase of 259 (2.3 per cent). There has been an increase of 1,736 (17.8 per cent) since 2003-04. 
  • The number of prescription items dispensed by community pharmacies in England in 2012-13 was 914.3 million compared to the 82.6 million items dispensed in general practices and 6.9 million by appliance contractors. This was an increase of 29.3 million (3.3 per cent) from 2011-12, and 317.8 million (53.3 per cent) from 2003-04. 
Learn more here.

Community Pharmacy – Local Government’s new public health role (Oct 2013)

The LGA has launched a new resource for  local government on community pharmacy with key messages for local authorities and health and wellbeing boards (HWBs). The document Community Pharmacy – Local Government’s new public health role highlights the important contribution that pharmacy can make to public health locally. Four main areas of common purpose identified are: Public health; Support for independent living; Making every contact count; and Sustaining communities and building social capital.

Joint statement on prescription direction published (Oct 2013)

PSNC, Pharmacy Voice and the British Medical Association have published a joint statement on prescription direction. The three organisations discussed the topic at a meeting in August. The joint statement is an outcome of this meeting and is intended to be a helpful reminder to pharmacists and GPs of existing guidance. The statement can be downloaded by clicking here: Joint statement on prescription direction

Last month PSNC published a briefing on this topic including summaries of the regulations and relevant guidance, as well as an update on PSNC’s work in the area. This briefing  may be of use to contractors and LPCs affected by the issue and can be downloaded by clicking here: PSNC Briefing 095 13 Direction of Prescriptions

New briefing on market entry regulations released  (Oct 2013)

1 April 2013 marked a new era in market entry. Applications for inclusion in a pharmaceutical list are now considered by NHS England through their area teams. The market entry test is now an assessment against the pharmaceutical needs assessment produced by the local authority’s health and wellbeing board (and until they have completed one, the former PCT’s version). 

PSNC has published a briefing to introduce the regulations, and cover the most commonly raised points.
PCC runs training and development workshops on the new regulations and can support local areas to update their pharmaceutical needs assessment. For more information contact charlotte.goodson@pcc.nhs.uk

Health on the High Street - Rethinking the role of Community Pharmacy (Oct 2013)

This paper "Rethinking Community Pharmacy Role" discusses how best public health services might be commissioned from community pharmacy within the new system architecture. It outlines the recommendations of a task group of the Pharmacy and Public Health Forum. The task group was chaired by Mike Farrar, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, and included representatives from across public health, local government, commissioning organisations and pharmacy. Key points include:

  • We need to improve the public’s health to help ensure our healthcare system is sustainable. Community pharmacy teams could play a major role in this by providing more effective and accessible public health services.
  • In order to play this role, community pharmacies need local authorities, NHS England and clinical commissioning groups to develop a coherent approach to commissioning them. This approach needs to balance national consistency and efficiency with local innovation and customisation to local circumstances.
  • It will also be important to invest strategically in community pharmacy, and raise awareness among commissioners, providers, patients and the public of how it can help improve people’s health.

Professional standards for homecare services (Sept 2013)

These standards provide a best practice framework for the implementation and delivery of homecare services. Homecare services, where medicines are provided to patients direct from the manufacturer are increasingly being commissioned. The RPS, working with the Department of Health homecare strategy board, has produced ten standards to ensure patient safety and the effective management of medicines delivered via the homecare route.The standards will also support teams providing and commissioning homecare services.

Updated information about complaints to pharmacy contractors (Sept 2013)

Under the provisions of the National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 pharmacy contractors are required to make arrangements for the handling and consideration of complaints. PSNC has produced a briefing containing updated information on the NHS complaints procedure.

Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) planning for health and wellbeing boards

Health and wellbeing boards (HWB) must publish their first pharmaceutical needs assessments by April 2015, or sooner if existing needs change. To comply with the regulations, HWBs need to allow at least 12 months to develop a PNA. 

PSNC Vision Narrative Launched (Aug 2013)

Building on PSNC’s vision for community pharmacy, which was agreed in early 2012, PSNC has today published a narrative describing how services could be commissioned from pharmacies over the next few years. The narrative is designed to give contractors and pharmacy teams a clear picture of how pharmacy services could be developed in practice by the new NHS commissioners. PSNC’s vision, which was supported by pharmacy contractors surveyed last year, sets out a clear vision of its aims and aspirations for the community pharmacy service in 2016, as follows:

The community pharmacy service in 2016 will offer support to our communities, helping people to optimise use of medicines to support their health and care for acute and long-term conditions, and providing individualised information, advice and assistance to support the public’s health and healthy living.

Learn more here

Community Pharmacy guide to General Practice (Aug 2013)

PSNC, NHS Employers and the GP Committee of the British Medical Association have produced an updated guide to GP practices for community pharmacists and pharmacy staff. This document was written to promote greater understanding of the roles and day to day activities of the two professions to enhance local working relationships. The guides have been updated to reflect the changes in the NHS and the two contracts since they were first published in 2010.