More than 550 Midlands community pharmacies are now able to offer oral contraception to local people who have previously been prescribed by a GP.
It is part of a new service that allows pharmacists to do more.
Once a patient has had an initial consultation and prescription from their GP or Sexual Health Clinic, they can get their repeat supply of oral contraception from pharmacies that are offering the service. Patients can:
- Self-refer to a community pharmacy.
- Be identified as clinically suitable by the community pharmacist and be offered the service.
- Be referred by a GP as the patient has requested a repeat prescription.
- Be referred from a sexual health clinic.
- Be referred from another NHS service such as NHS 111 or urgent treatment centres.
Patients are offered a confidential consultation which results in a shared decision between the patient and pharmacist on the ongoing supply of oral contraception.
Harjeet Mundey who runs The Medicine Box pharmacy at Loughborough University said, “Since April, we have seen more than 75 women for oral contraception consultations. They are all really pleased to be able to pop into a local place at a time that suits them.
“I am thrilled to be doing more and seeing more patients directly. I am sure it is a trend that will continue.”
NHS England Regional Chief Pharmacist for the Midlands, Richard Seal said: “This is a great opportunity for pharmacists to utilise more of their skills and we are delighted that over 550 have already registered to the scheme.
“Since April, the number of referrals and consultations have been increasing across the Midlands all the time.”
NHS England has started a second pilot for pharmacies to begin people on oral contraception. This will include discussing alternative contraception methods to help individuals make a choice about which form of contraception is most suitable for them.