Thursday, 08 February 2024
A team of scientists and experts have been awarded funding to evaluate the new National Health Service (NHS) Pharmacy First service.
Researchers led by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in collaboration with the University of Nottingham and Universities of Manchester and Oxford and experts at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), have been awarded £2.4m by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to evaluate the new service introduced to allow pharmacies to prescribe for minor illnesses.
The service launched across England in January 2024 under the Government’s NHS Primary Care Recovery Plan. From February 2024, participating pharmacies will be able to supply prescription-only medicines for seven common conditions: earache, uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women, sore throat, sinusitis, impetigo, shingles and infected insect bites, after consultation with a community pharmacist.
The research team will evaluate Pharmacy First's take-up, safety, equity, cost effectiveness and acceptability, as well as its implications for antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance.
I’m excited to work with a research team including cross-discipline expertise from pharmacists, general practitioners, nurses, health economists, policy researchers, and experts in antimicrobial resistance to evaluate a new community pharmacy service that puts patients first.
I am delighted to be part of the team evaluating Pharmacy First in England. We will have much to learn from similar, successful schemes in Wales and Scotland
Professor Rachel Elliot, lead for the Manchester Centre for Health Economics said: "I am looking forward to working on the evaluation of Pharmacy First. When resources are limited in the NHS, it is essential we spend that money on safe and effective services to make sure patients get the best value for money from their healthcare."
Community pharmacies aree important providers of healthcare and are accessible to all communities, including the medically-underserved. This evaluation will contribute to understanding possible consequences of Pharmacy First for inequalities in access to health services and outcomes.
More information from Kimberley Sonnex on Kimberley.Sonnex@nottingham.ac.uk
Notes to editors:
About the University of Nottingham
Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.
Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.
The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.
We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.