Reminder: Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) roll-out in NEL UPDATE

Following the launch of the GP Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (GP CPCS) nationally on 1 November 2020 and the activation of the digital referral platform (EMIS/PharmOutcomes) on 01 March 2022 (that was purchased for practices by North East London CCG), training is now underway to support practice staff in making referrals to community pharmacy.  The training enables staff to manage patients contacting practices, how to assess them and if deemed appropriate, with the patient’s consent, make a secure electronic referral to the community pharmacy of the patient’s choice, using the digital referral platform. The training also highlights the benefits of the service in supporting practices in managing workload so that patients can get the best care by the best person in the best place at the best time. 

Existing funding for CPCS is available via the Winter Access Fund (WAF) and Local Incentive Scheme (LIS) for 2021/22 will remain available provided expressions of interest are received and training booked for CPCS training sessions that will be delivered over the coming weeks.

There is also funding for Primary Care Networks as part of the PCN Directed Enhanced Service (DES). From April 1st 2022,  GP CPCS indicator: 

ACC-09: Number of referrals to the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service per 1000 registered patients 34 (0.65 per 1000 per week). This is a single threshold (rather than an upper and a lower limit) and works out that the average PCN would need to make 34 referrals to CPCS in the financial year in order for payment to be made. The GPES data will be used to extract activity data from the practice systems using the SNOMED codes:

  • 1362511000000107 |Referral to Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (procedure)
  • 1362521000000101 |Referral to Community Pharmacist Consultation Service refused (situation)

The digital referral platform (this is additional functionality on the EMIS system currently used by most practices across North East London) will make the referral seamless for both the surgeries and pharmacies. To ensure everyone is engaged and feels confident in utilising the community pharmacy referral pathway, surgery teams will be able to continue to access general training remotely via webinars delivered by staff from the Training Hubs and more bespoke training (for those that request it) from colleagues from the Local Pharmaceutical Committee will be available starting from the end of April. 

  1. The NEL Training Hub is providing training workshops (online) covering the operational aspects of CPCS service, the patient journey, using the IT solution to make referrals and dealing with patient enquiries effectively (see attached flyer)
  2. The North East London Local Pharmaceutical Committee will be in contact to arrange training for each practice in a format that you would prefer. 

If you have any operational issues with the digital referral platform please contact EMIS at

For those practices not using EMIS, we will be in contact to provide specific training and support.

Further information on CPCS

A recording of the NEL CPCS webinar that was held on 23 March is available here.  This webinar was aimed at all practice staff and explained the rationale for CPCS, the advantages of the service for patients, identifying how patients can be safely referred and other practicalities.

Information for the public on how to access primary care has been posted here: 

This link includes a new video animation with a focus on pharmacy first and a line on CPCS: ‘In some cases if you contact your GP practice with a minor illness that can be assessed and treated more quickly by a local pharmacist, (with your consent) they will send an electronic referral to the community pharmacy of your choice for a same day consultation’.

We look forward to supporting you on this journey. 

For any CPCS queries please email: (this mailbox has been identified to specifically receive CPCS related emails and should be used for all practices/PCNs in City & Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Waltham Forest, Barking, Havering and Redbridge).