National Contraceptive Service

The Pharmacy Contraception Service launched on 24th April 2023, please see the communication below sent to contractors at the end of April 2023:

NHS Pharmacy Contraception Service – national service launch

Since September 2021 NHS England has been testing the option for people to be offered a confidential consultation with a community pharmacist to access their next supply of oral contraception. This is for people who have been previously initiated on oral contraception by general practice or a sexual health clinic.

As part of the Year 4/5 Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (2019 – 2024) deal we are pleased to announce the NHS Pharmacy Contraception Service (PCS) will launch from 24 April 2023.  The advanced service specification and accompanying patient group directions for the community pharmacy service have been published setting out the requirements of the Tier 1 service.

NHSE has supported Cegedim Healthcare Solutions and EMIS:PharmOutcomes to develop their digital solutions to support the NHS Pharmacy Contraception Service, which includes the functionality of an API (application programming interface) with the NHSBSA. All reimbursement claims must be made through the APIs with the NHSBSA .

Other existing pharmacy suppliers have also expressed interest in developing their solutions to support the NHS Pharmacy Contraception Service and plan to introduce this service during the 23/24 financial year.

Community pharmacy contractors can find more details about the service including details on how to sign up here NHS England » Tier 1 Advanced – ongoing supply of oral contraception.


Additional resources available on PSNC Website here



PSNC Response to service launch:

This start date for the service has not been agreed with PSNC and is in direct contradiction of their warning to Ministers that no new or expanded services can be rolled out in 2023/24 unless extra funding is put into community pharmacies.

Responding to this announcement, PSNC Chief Executive Janet Morrison said:

“We note that NHSE has announced the launch date for Tier 1 of the Pharmacy Contraception Service. This is despite our warning last month that without additional funding, the roll-out of Year 5 additional services and the Pharmacy Quality Scheme is neither feasible nor affordable. Community pharmacies are having to work harder and harder for less money and many are at breaking point. And just this week the results of our 2023 Pharmacy Pressures Survey have confirmed the worsening situation.

Clearly our view is not because contractors don’t see the benefit of the service. This is a much-anticipated service that could deliver real benefits to patients and community pharmacies are always eager to support public health initiatives. But capacity in the sector is now so stretched that more money is needed to safely resource additional work.

We have repeated our concerns to the Department in recent days and reminded them of the potential for a properly funded community pharmacy sector to play a greater role in providing clinical solutions and relieving pressures elsewhere in primary care.”