Chemist + Druggist is part of Pharma Intelligence UK Limited

This is operated by Pharma Intelligence UK Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 13787459 whose registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. The Pharma Intelligence group is owned by Caerus Topco S.à r.l. and all copyright resides with the group.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute without permission.

Printed By


‘Going round in circles’: Pharmacy First consultations halted by IT crash

Pharmacy contractors have spent “hours” on the phone since it kicked users off the system for a security update last night. 

Pharmacies have told C+D they have been unable to complete Pharmacy First consultations since PharmOutcomes updated its security systems yesterday, C+D has learned.

Pharmacy contractor Sachin Badiani told C+D today (March 6) it was unable to access PharmOutcomes from “10pm onwards” yesterday (March 5).

“I’ve got four sites so none can access [the software]” he told C+D. 

This left Mr Badiani’s wife, who works at one of his pharmacy sites, unable “to do a consultation for an ear problem because the system wasn’t up”.

“Our other sites are receiving Pharmacy First referrals from GP, but cannot open them up,” he said.

He added that he doesn’t “have time to do a paper version” of consultation paperwork. 

EMIS, PharmOutcomes’s parent company, told C+D today that the cause of the tech issue was a security measure “upgrade”.

“We regularly update our security measures and have recently taken proactive steps to further protect our systems,” a spokesperson added. 


“A subpar provider”


Other contractors have taken to social media to express their frustration at frozen tech. 

One PharmOutcomes customer took to X, the platform previously known at Twitter, to say they were “literally going round in circles”. 

They said they were able to log in “once…but it won't proceed to the next screen”.

“How are we supposed to provide services with a subpar provider?” they added. 

Mr Badiani told C+D that he’s “heard from other contractors who were complaining”.

On top of the tech issues, Mr Badiani said that he’s spent a cumulative three hours on the phone with PharmOutcomes trying to get some help over the past two days. 

This morning he was “cut off from the call - having been in queue for two hours” he added.


“Not possible to provide advance notice”


EMIS told C+D that it had “remained in close contact with NHS England” as it “worked towards this upgrade”

“However it was not possible to provide advance notice to pharmacies” it said.

It stressed that it has “put additional support in place to assist pharmacies as they adapt to the changes”.

But that “as ever, clinical safety and information security remain our top priorities and the focus of our efforts”.


Pharmacy First IT flubs 


PharmOutcomes is one of the four Pharmacy First IT system suppliers that Community Pharmacy England (CPE) gave contractors three days to sign up to in in January.

And last month parliamentary under-secretary for health and social care Lord Nick Markham told the House of Lords that, despite the service launching at the end of January, some IT systems were still “not ready”.

He added that full GP Connect access would not “be [ready] in the next few months”.

It had said that “from the launch” of Pharmacy First, contractors would “have access to more parts of the GP record” such as medications, observations and investigations.

Previously, C+D predicted that Pharmacy First IT system delays would “cause despair”.

Related Content


Pharmacist Manager
£30 per hour

Apply Now
Latest News & Analysis
See All



Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts