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Updated service specs published for contraception and hypertension services


Updated service specs published for contraception and hypertension services

NHS England has published the new service specification and patient group directions for the expanded Pharmacy Contraception Service along with an updated specification for the Hypertension Case-Finding Service.

The contraception service will now enable pharmacists to initiate oral contraception, as well as continuing to provide ongoing management of oral contraception that has been initiated in general practice or a sexual health clinic.

Pharmacy owners will need to provide both elements of the service.

Those who are currently providing ongoing management of oral contraception will have a period of time to transition to provide both elements of the service and will then need to declare that they agree to the terms and scope of the expanded service via the NHSBSA Manage Your Service portal.

Further information on the process will be published in the December Drug Tariff.

In the meantime, pharmacy owners who are currently providing the service can still access the current service specification on the NHSBSA website until they transition over to the expanded scheme.

Pharmacy owners who have not signed up to provide the service by December 1 will need to provide initiation and repeat supplies from the time they decide to register for the service.

The service page on the Community Pharmacy England website has been updated to reflect the changes and updated resources have also been published for use by pharmacy owners and their teams.

CPE is working with NHS England and the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education to organise webinars for pharmacy owners on the expanded contraception service. Details will be announced soon.

‘Good news’

Alastair Buxton, director of NHS services at CPE, said it was “good news” that additional funding is available for the new services from outside the global sum. “This will allow more consultations per year to be carried out without putting pressure on the core contractual sum.”

“We encourage all pharmacy owners to embrace the service, as this will make a real difference to women across England and will also clearly demonstrate the benefit of the NHS commissioning clinical services from community pharmacy,” he said.

“However, pharmacy owners will also need to consider the launch of the Pharmacy First service at the end of January 2024 when they are planning their preparations to get ready to provide the Pharmacy Contraception Service or to enhance their existing service provision. Many will likely choose to prioritise preparations for the Pharmacy First service.

“We know that there is a huge amount of information to absorb and to prepare for. To help with this, we are working with NHS England and CPPE to provide further support for pharmacy owners,” Mr Buxton added.

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