NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)


The CPCS is an Advanced Service which connects patients who have a minor illness or need an urgent supply of a medicine with a participating community pharmacy.  Patients are currently referred into the service from NHS 111, but from 1 November 2020, GPs will also be able to refer patients for minor illness consultations (once local referral pathways are in place – see below).

The CPCS aim is to help relieve pressure on the wider NHS and speed up patient access to treatment by making use of pharmacists’ core knowledge and skills.

Key Documents 

GP Referral Pathway

From 1st November 2020, the CPCS was extended across England to include referrals from general practices as well as from NHS 111. Unlike the implementation of the 111-referral pathway, the GP referral pathway will be activated at different times across the country, ideally happening across Primary Care Networks (PCNs).  Preparations to support rollout of the GP referral pathway locally are being undertaken by the NHSE&I regional team with support from CPNY.

See here for further information about the GP referral pathway including what contractors should do to prepare for local rollout.

Contractors will be able to claim a £300 engagement and setup payment if they undertake a range of actions to get ready for rolling out the referral pathway in their area. The requirements are detailed in Annex F of the service specification and further guidance is available here: GP-CPCS CPNY Slides 02-06-21

Resources to Support Rollout of the GP Referral Pathway 

Learning & Development Resources

  • CPPE has a range of training resources which can be used by pharmacists in preparation to provide the CPCS, including a self-assessment framework which supports pharmacists in reflecting on their knowledge and skillsIt is recommended that pharmacists use this framework to plan their learning ahead of providing the service. Further information is available on the CPPE website.
  • CPCS free workshops delivered by RPS – CPD for pharmacists is available to support effective patient-facing consultations and clinical assessments for a range of common minor illness. The training is delivered via a combination of online pre-learning and interactive online workshops and facilitated by experienced individuals, including GPs and advanced practitioner trainers. These workshops have been designed to support pharmacists in managing CPCS referrals and provide an excellent opportunity to be able to practice the skills required to deliver effective CPCS consultations. To find out more and book a place see here. 
  • Virtual Outcomes Training (free for all North Yorkshire pharmacy teams). This online training includes a comprehensive CPCS training package to support pharmacies and GP practices with the CPCS service. The package of courses includes local implementation and delivery training for pharmacy teams as well as CPCS training aimed at GP Practice teams. To access these courses, visit https://www.virtualoutcomes.co.uk/pharmacy-training/