Pharmacies across Shropshire to offer contraceptive pill over the counter
Community pharmacies across Shropshire, and Telford and Wrekin are now offering oral contraception to local people if they previously had a GP prescription for it.
The new service is available in 26 community pharmacies in the county and is part of a new initiative to improve access, manage demand, and allow pharmacies to do more.
Under the scheme, patients who have already been prescribed oral contraception by a GP will be able to get their repeat supply from pharmacies offering the service. They will also be offered a confidential consultation to discuss their supply going forwards.
Previously, patients would have had to return to their GP to get another prescription.
Shahid Sattar, community pharmacist at High Street Pharmacy in Newport, said: “Since April, we have seen many local women for oral contraception consultations, with the numbers increasing all the time.
"All the women we see are really pleased to be able to simply pop to their local pharmacy, at a time that suits them, to pick up their oral contraception supply.
“As a pharmacist, I am thrilled to be doing more for our patients as well as working with more people directly. I am sure it is a trend that we will continue to see as pharmacists’ roles are expanded to help support primary care in the county.”
Emma Pyrah, associate director of primary care at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: “This is a great opportunity for pharmacists to utilise more of their expertise and we are delighted that we are already hearing positive reviews from our 26 participating pharmacies.
“Allowing our highly skilled pharmacists to do more is only a positive thing as patients can visit a pharmacy, at a location convenient to them, and do not need to book an appointment.
“Much of the work for NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin over the next few months will focus on improving access to GP practices for our patients so the more our vitally important community pharmacies can do to free up appointments, the better.”
Under the scheme, patients can self-refer to a community pharmacy, and if identified as clinically suitable by the pharmacist, can be offered the service.
The pharmacies will also be offering referral services to GPs if a patient has requested a repeat prescription, referrals to sexual health clinic, or referrals to another NHS service such as NHS 111 or an urgent treatment centre.
For more information and to see which pharmacies are taking part in the service across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, you can visit: england.nhs.uk/midlands/nhs-england-and-nhs-improvement-midlands-work/pharmacy-contraception-service.