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Coventry Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) is already seeing the benefits of the expansion of Pharmacy First, which now means that Coventry UTC can refer directly into the service.

Pharmacy First went live on 31st January and the service enables community pharmacists to supply prescription-only medicines to treat seven common health conditions without the need to visit a GP. This is in addition to treating a variety of minor illnesses and ailments with self-care advice or sale of an over the counter medication that could previously be done under the Community Pharmacy Consultation service (CPCS).

When launched, the service also allowed GP Practices and NHS111 to refer patients to community pharmacies with one of these conditions to receive treatment under Pharmacy First. This meant that patients could receive quicker treatment, whilst also reducing the pressure on other health and care services.

In order to expand the scope and effectiveness of the programme, Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Board (ICB), Community Pharmacy Arden, and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust worked together to develop a process that allowed for Pharmacy First referrals to be made from Coventry UTC.

Referrals using this new process began on 15th April and over 150 patients have been referred since the service went live. This has freed up vital clinician time at the UTC, increasing capacity for other patients with greater need, whilst also ensuring all patients can receive treatment the best possible care from the appropriate service.

This is a great example of where system partners have come together to deliver both improved services that help patients get the right treatment, first time and reduced pressure on health and care services.

The seven conditions that pharmacists can supply prescription only medication for under Pharmacy First are:

  • Sinusitis
  • Sore throat
  • Earache
  • Infected insect bite
  • Impetigo (a bacterial skin infection)
  • Shingles
  • Uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women.

For more information on Pharmacy First and the support you can receive from pharmacists, visit

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