Pharmacies will be paid £18.50 per consultation in the NHS Community Pharmacy Contraception Pilot

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have announced that the scheme will run from today (September 30) for one calendar year, with the possibility of an extension.

Under the Tier 1 pilot, pharmacists and their teams from seven selected primary care networks (RCPs) will continue the supply and management of people taking oral contraceptives initiated in primary care and sexual health clinics.

Participating pharmacies will receive a one-time payment of £685 per pharmacy for setup costs. This will be paid for automatically when registering to provide the service through the NHS Business Services Authority website.

A separate one-time payment of £125 per pharmacy can also be claimed if participating pharmacists take part in an assessment interview, NHSE&I added.

The PCNs where the service is offered are located in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw; North East Lincolnshire; Hull Clinical Commissioning Group within Humber, Coast and Vale; North East and North Cumbria; Lancashire and South Cumbria; Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System; and Staffordshire.

The launch of the service follows the Public Health England (PHE) resource for Commissionerspublished in 2019, which highlighted the important role community pharmacy can play in supporting ongoing contraception and providing comprehensive sexual health care.

Objectives for the pilot

The pilot project is a first step in giving patients access to properly trained and qualified community pharmacists who can provide oral contraception in areas that do not yet offer ordered contraceptive services, NHSE&I said.

The pilot project aims to create more capacity in primary care and sexual health clinics by making continued access to oral contraception available at community pharmacies. It is hoped that this will ease the burden on primary care and wider sexual health clinics and provide better access for patients.

Pharmacies will carry out a clinical check for people who need a re-prescription of their regular oral contraceptive pill and, if clinically appropriate, a re-supply. Pharmacists will also offer to discuss alternative birth control methods and share information about how a person might switch to a new method.

Patients can self-refer or be referred by their GP or sexual health clinic to a participating pharmacy to continue their contraceptive management at a community pharmacy.

Pending a positive assessment, the pilot may extend beyond September 30, 2022 and expand to include other tiers, NHSE&I added. These additional levels could include initiation of oral contraception through a community pharmacist and provision of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), such as implants, injections, or patches.

Selection of pharmacies

Entrepreneurs from the seven selected NCPs who are eligible to participate will be contacted by their regional NHSE&I team.

Contractors who have not been contacted but are in these areas and meet all of the items outlined in the service specifications are encouraged to join the pilot project by online registration of their pharmacy details with NHSE&I.

Comments are closed.