Community Pharmacy Consultations

The Community Pharmacy Consultation Service (CPCS) can take referrals from the Practice to help patients manage minor illnesses. It has been operational since October 2019 and is now well established. Community Pharmacists are highly trained medical professionals who are governed by the General Pharmaceutical Council. They have undergone extensive training in minor illness and have to comply with strict regulations just like your GP.

How does it work?

The patient contacts the surgery as normal and the receptionist, who has been trained by the GP, assesses the patients symptoms. If appropriate, and following the guidance of the GP, the receptionist does an electronic referral to the Community Pharmacy of the patients choice. The Community Pharmacy would then contact the patient and arrange for them to come and have a structured consultation the same day. The Community Pharmacy can make recommendations for over the counter treatment and provide advice on managing the symptoms. If the Community Pharmacy has any concerns, they can refer the patient back to the Practice for a consultation with the GP. Equally so they can also do a direct referral to other healthcare services such as the opticians or community clinic.

What are the benefits?

By formalising the referral method, the Community Pharmacy has the key information needed to provide the patient with safe and appropriate support and advice. Information sharing regarding the consultation is also captured between the Practice and the Community Pharmacy. This service can also free up GP time to spend with the most vulnerable patients with multiple chronic diseases.

Conditions that are suitable for referral to CPCS?

Bee stings / wasp stings – swelling and redness
Colds – coughs, sore throat, flu like symptoms, cold sores
Congestion – blocked or runny nose, excessive mucus, hayfever
Ears – earache, ear wax, hearing problems
Eyes – conjunctivitis, dry/sore/tired/red/irritable/watery/sticky eyes
Gastric/Bowel – constipation, diarrhoea, colic, heartburn, indigestion, haemorrhoids, rectal pain, vomitting, nausea
General – sleeping difficulties, tiredness, hair loss
Gynae – thrust, cystitis, vaginal discharge, vaginal itch or soreness
Pain – headache, migraine, sprains, knee/leg/hip/ankle/foot/lower back/shoulder/thigh/buttock/wrist/hand/finger pain
Skin – acne, athletes foot, blisters, dermatitis, dry skin, nappy rash, rash/allergy, scabies, rash, warts, verruccas
Mouth/throat – cold sores, hoarseness, mouth ulcers, oral thrush, teething, toothache, sore throat
Swelling – ankle, foot, lower limbs, thigh, buttock, toes, wrist, hand, fingers

Conditions that are NOT suitable for referral to CPCS?

Bee stings / wasp stings – drowsy, fever, severe swelling, fast heart rate,
Colds – lasting more than 3 weeks, shortness of breathe, chest pain, unable to swallow
Congestion – lasting more than 3 weeks, shortness of breathe, obstruction, facial swelling
Ears – something in the ear, discharge, severe pain, deafness, virtigo
Eyes – severe pain, light sensitivity, reduced vision
Gastric/Bowel – severe/on-going problems, lasting more than 6 weeks, patients over 55, bleeding, weight loss
General – severe/on-going problems
Gynae – diabetic, pregnant, under 16, over 60, bleeding, thrust twice in 6 months, OTC treatment not worked
Pain – severe/on-going problems, lasting more than 3 weeks, chest pain radiating into shoulder, OTC treatment not worked, sudden on-set
Skin – severe/on-going problems, lasting more than 3 weeks, OTC treatment not worked, skin lesion with discharge, diabetic related
Mouth/throat – lasting more than 10 days, swollen gums, mouth sores, unable to swallow, voice change, immunosuppressed
Swelling – severe/on-going problems, lasting more than 3 weeks, discolouration, OTC treatment not worked, recent travel abroad