GP CPCS in Surrey and Sussex


The NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) has been extended across England to include referrals from general practices as well as from NHS 111.

Called GP-CPCS it is a new pathway that enables GP practices to refer patients with a minor illness for a same day consultation with a community pharmacist.

When a patient with a minor illness symptom phones the practice requesting an appointment, they can be referred for a private consultation with a community pharmacist and with their consent, an electronic referral message will be sent to their chosen pharmacy.

Upon receiving the referral, the pharmacist can contact the patient by phone, video consultation or arrange for the patient to attend the pharmacy if necessary. The pharmacist may access the patient’s Summary Care Record (see S for summary care record) and ask about current symptoms and medication. Following the consultation, the pharmacist will offer self-care advice and may sell an over the counter product if appropriate.

Where symptoms suggest something more serious, the pharmacist will help the patient to arrange an urgent GP appointment or escalate to another provider if necessary. The pharmacist will record the outcome and send this to the patient’s GP.

The service has been introduced following successful pilots around the country, which shows it to be very popular with patients and practices alike.


Putting national policy into local practice in Surrey and Sussex

This local update was posted on  28 April 2021.  Scroll down the page for more recent updates

A national service specification has been created but the implementation details have been left open for local customisation. Work is underway across Surrey and Sussex to achieve this as soon as is reasonably practical.

In our local video briefing below, CEO Julia Powell sets out the background to our three local implementation projects across Sussex, Surrey and Frimley. The video is a recording  of a webinar held on 21 April 2021 which over 140 Surrey and Sussex pharmacy contractors booked to attend.

Those who missed the webinar are urged watch the recording and read the questions and answers from the session  as it will help them meet some of the criteria for a successful funding claim.

Our Sussex, Surrey and Frimley local on-boarding plans involve a lot of engagement and negotiation  behind-the-scenes as it is important that local referral pathways are right for both GP and pharmacy teams taking account, for example, of the software both use and if it is compatible.

Thank you for your patience while we work through this at locally with ICS, CCGs, PCNs and individual GP and community pharmacy teams, who are all working at different speeds across Sussex, Surrey and Frimley.


These locality based updates were published on the dates shown. Click on a heading for more information

UPDATE 24 June 2021 - Surrey Heartlands ICS

Surrey Heartlands ICS will shortly be going live with the GP CPCS service

We are just awaiting approval from the ICS Digital First Steering Group for the purchase of licences for all ICS EMIS Web surgery sites to install the EMIS integrated Patient Access CPCS module and PharmRefer for non-EMIS practices. This will greatly enhance the referral process for GP practice staff and fully integrate with the Community Pharmacy PharmOutcomes system. GP CPCS referrals will be received at the pharmacy by the same route as NHS 111 CPCS referrals are.


More information 


UPDATE 24 June 2021 - Frimley ICS

Frimley ICS has started to go live with the GP CPCS service

Six individual practices across 4 PCNs (LOCC, Health Triangle, Braccan & Central Slough Network) have started to make referrals into community pharmacy using a template attachment to an NHS e-mail.

Moving forwards, the ICS Digital First Steering Group has approved the purchase of licences for all ICS EMIS Web surgery sites to install the EMIS integrated Patient Access CPCS module. This will greatly enhance the referral process for GP practice staff and fully integrate with the Community Pharmacy PharmOutcomes system.

In the future GP CPCS referrals will be received at a pharmacy by the same route as NHS 111 CPCS referrals.

GP sites currently using the NHS mail system described above, as well as Ascot PCN and Farnborough PCN, should have the EMIS integrated system installed by the end of June.


More information

    • Here is a video demonstration of the EMIS integrated system
    • Find out about Frimley ICS – PCN CPCS Implementation – note these are subject to change depending on the learns from the first go live site
    • Before each PCN goes live the community pharmacies in that locality will be invited to a short ‘go live’ webinar so that the pharmacy will have all the necessary details needed to provide the service, including back- office surgery phone numbers
    • To further support training in the service, this  Virtual Outcomes training module for community pharmacies is available free-of-charge.  Pharmacies will need to enter their most up-to-date F-code here  to select then access the course.

UPDATE 28 June 2021 - Sussex ICS

Sussex ICS would like to launch GP CPCS with an integrated referral pathway, not a word document via NHS mail.

But first, the ICS Digital First Steering Group needs to approve the purchase of IT licences for all ICS EMIS Web surgery sites to install the EMIS integrated Patient Access CPCS module and PharmRefer for non-EMIS practices.

This will greatly enhance the referral process for GP practice staff and fully integrate with PharmOutcomes. GP CPCS referrals will be received at the pharmacy by the same route as NHS 111 CPCS referrals, if this happens.

    • A number of PCN’s have expressed an interest to be early adopters to implement the service. The learning from their implementation will inform the rollout process across the remaining PCN’s.
      • Two early adopters in Sussex are: ALPS Group; and Coastal and South Downs
      • The following nine PCN’s have all expressed interest in starting the service and their rollout will follow the early adopters as phase 2: High Weald; Foundry Lewes; Hastings and St Leonards; Rural Rother; Cissbury Integrated Care; Central Worthing; ACF Medical Group; Haywards Heath Villages; Haywards Heath Central
      • Following this second phase all remaining PCNs will then go live.

Assuming the IT elements are agreed and implemented without delay the early adopters will go-live in August.


More information

    • Here is a video demonstration of the EMIS integrated system
    • Before each PCN goes live all community pharmacies in the PCN will be invited to a short ‘go live’ webinar so that the pharmacy will have all the necessary details needed to provide the service, including back- office surgery phone numbers
    • To further support training in the service, this  Virtual Outcomes training module for community pharmacies is available free-of-charge.  Pharmacies will need to enter their most up-to-date F-code here  to select then access the course.

Further updates will be posted as our three local implementation projects move forward and there is more news to tell.


More information for all pharmacies in England


More information for pharmacies in Sussex and Surrey