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Most common Pharmacy First conditions revealed

A sore throat was the most common reason to offer a Pharmacy First consultation in the first month of the new service, data from the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) shows.  

“Just over 3,000” CCA members provided 48,195 Pharmacy First consultations in the first month of the new service, the membership body revealed today (March 19). 

It said that 93% of its members have provided at least one consultation for one of the seven conditions between January 31 and March 3.

And “each CCA pharmacy has treated an average of 3.5 patients every week,” it added.

It said that 29% (13,977) of consultations were “provided either at weekends or outside core hours” of 9am – 6pm.

The CCA told C+D that 30% (14,425) of these consultations took place in the 20% most deprived communities.

It added that “this level of activity is the strongest start of any new national pharmacy led service.”



The most common conditions



Of the seven conditions that pharmacists can provide advice and treatment for under the new service, sore throat was the most common in Pharmacy First’s first month. 

Of the 48,195 total consultations provided by CCA members, 31% (13,087) addressed “acute sore throat”, the membership body said. 

“Uncomplicated UTI” was the second most common condition, accounting for 27% (13,053) of total consultations. 

Next was acute otitis media, or earache, which the CCA said was the topic of 16% (7,548) consultations.

The least common conditions in the first month of the service were shingles, which accounted for 3.6% (1,748) of the total, and infected insect bites, which were 2.7% (1,309). 

The CCA said that the government should now be looking to “expand the scope of care provided by Pharmacy First” and “invest in high quality and targeted public engagement campaigns to raise awareness”.

It comes as pharmacies have reported experiencing long Pharmacy First consultations, most of which do not reach the gateway criteria for payment, and that the service is “harder to implement” than expected - all amid ongoing delays to promised IT updates.

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