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New resources available to help practices refer to community pharmacy

by Beth Gault
27 March 2023

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Practices can now access new communication materials from NHS England to help staff explain to patients why they have been referred to community pharmacy.

The materials are part of the Help us Help You campaign that launched earlier this year, and hopes to encourage patients to visit the pharmacy instead of their GP for minor illnesses, in order to encourage the ‘best use of primary care’.

The new resources also aim to help practice staff and ICBs better communicate what to expect from a referral under the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service (CPCS).

In a recent primary care bulletin, NHS England said: ‘The communication materials have been designed to help practice teams and ICBs explain to patients why they are being offered a consultation with a community pharmacist and what to expect from it, to increase confidence in the referral process.

‘The digital materials were tested by practices – who found them a useful resource when making referrals.’

The resources include a poster, leaflet, digital display screen, social media images and a briefing sheet. The leaflet is also available in multiple languages.

The poster says: ‘Our practice is working closely with local pharmacists to support you with certain minor health conditions.

‘It may be more appropriate to have your NHS consultation with a trained pharmacist instead of the GP practice. You can choose a pharmacy convenient to you and we will arrange this for you.’

It comes after NHS England outlined plans to expand the scope of services offered by community pharmacies, including a new hypertension service and over-the-counter contraception.