This Pharmacy Contraception Service currently has 2 tiers:
- Tier 1 - ongoing supply of oral contraception
- Tier 2 - initiation of oral contraception
Tier 1 of the pilot has now closed, and the service has been launched as an advanced pharmacy service. Pharmacy contractors can register for the advanced service via MYS - MYS – Pharmacy | NHSBSA.
Tier 2 of the pilot will run from October 2022 to 30 September 2023 with the possibility of extension.
NHS community pharmacies are an accessible and convenient place for people to receive advice and support for contraception. We have been testing the option of people being able to have a confidential consultation with a community pharmacist to request a prescription of the contraceptive pill either for the first time, or to access their next supply of oral contraception directly from their pharmacist, rather than from their GP or sexual health clinic.
The aim of this service is to create additional capacity in primary care and sexual health clinics and provide improved access for patients.
The service objectives are:
- To test a model for community pharmacy teams to continue, review and supply the provision of contraception supplies initiated in primary care or sexual health clinics.
- To test a model of initiation of hormonal oral contraceptives in community pharmacy.
- To test an integrated pathway between existing services and community pharmacies to allow people greater choice and access when considering their current form of contraception.
- Better access to services and support for high-risk communities and vulnerable patients.
- To identify a data set that should be shared with the community pharmacy to support the referral process and feedback loop to the GP-held patient record where appropriate (with relevant consent).
Additional Tier 2 Objectives
To test and evaluate the Tier 2 service model of initiation of hormonal oral contraception in community pharmacy. This will encompass quantitative and qualitative service evaluation including service user experience, the experience of pharmacy staff and primary care and sexual health professionals, and the safety of the service within community pharmacy.
To inform the scope and service model design for a Tier 3 service that would enable a community pharmacy to manage the ongoing supply and administration of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) such as implants, vaginal ring, injections and patches. Intra-uterine devices and systems (IUDs / IUSs) are not included as part of this service.
What the service will provide
In Tier 2 of the pilot the pharmacy will conduct a clinical consultation for people who request initiation of an oral contraceptive pill and, if clinically appropriate, make a supply via PGD.
As part of the consultation pharmacists will offer to discuss alternative contraceptive methods and share information about how a person could change to a new method.
People who wish to consult another healthcare provider for contraception support still can. People being referred to this service will have already agreed to be referred to a community pharmacy.
Register to provide the Tier 2 pilot service
Pharmacy contractors can register for this service if they have a pharmacist who has successfully completed and recorded 10 or more Tier 1 consultations.
In addition they:
- have previously registered for the Tier 1 pilot service, or it has been agreed by NHSE they can register for Tier 2.
- intend to provide the service between 30 September 2022 and 30 September 2023.
- comply with the Essential Services elements of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF).
- are in good standing with NHSE.
- comply with all the elements described in the service specification.
- can offer face to face appointments inside a confidential consultation room that complies with relevant GPhC standards, this includes distance selling pharmacies.
The SLA and specification for Tier 2 - Initiation of Oral Contraception can be found here:
Service level agreement for Access to Oral Contraception through PGD (Tier 2) (Word: 189KB)
Register for Tier 2 - Initiation of oral contraceptionRemote live video consultations are also allowed for all community pharmacies. When delivering remote consultations, the contractor must make sure staff and people accessing the service can communicate securely and confidentially by live video and audio link. Any contractor providing remote consultations must comply with the principles defined in the GPhC guidance for registered pharmacies providing pharmacy services at a distance, including on the internet.
If agreed with the Commissioner, the service can be delivered from a suitable location outside a consultation room. It must follow infection control requirements for coronavirus (COVID-19) and remain confidential.
If the pilot is extended, pharmacy contractors will continue to provide this service unless they opt out. An opt out process will be detailed in the run-up to the extension. This does not prevent pharmacists from opting out earlier.
You must register your pharmacy’s details with NHS England. As this is an online signup, there’s no need to return a signed SLA to NHS England.