NHS Pharmacy Contraception Service (PCS)

NHS Pharmacy Contraception Service (PCS):

The PCS will enable Community Pharmacists to initiate and provide ongoing supplies of Oral Contraceptives (OC) under a Patient Group Direction (PGD) – the Service Specification can be accessed here.

The PCS aims to offer patients greater choice / access to OCs and create additional capacity in primary care (General Practice) to deal with more complex issues.

Before a supply of a Combined Oral Contraceptive (COC) can be made, a BP reading and, in some cases BMI, will need to be recorded. Readings provided by the patient (BP and a BMI) may be accepted where the pharmacist feels this is clinically appropriate (self-reported measurements will need to be recorded as such).


Patients can access the PCS via the following routes:

  • Identified as clinically suitable by the Community Pharmacist and accept the offer of the service;
  • Self-refer to a Community Pharmacy;
  • Referred by their General Practice, Sexual Health Clinic (or equivalent); or
  • Referred from other NHS service providers, e.g. Urgent Treatment Centres or NHS 111

Note: It would be prudent to begin highlighting the availability of the PCS to patients attending the pharmacy to collect an NHS repeat prescription for an OC or those requesting Emergency Hormonal Contraception (EHC).

The consultation must be provided by a pharmacist. Body Mass Index (BMI) and Blood Pressure (BP) measurements may be conducted by a suitably trained pharmacy technician (in advance of the patients consultation with the pharmacist). A patient may also offer their own weight, height and blood pressure measurements.

Further information and resources to support delivery of the service can be found below.


Note - The information contained on this page is correct as of 01/12/23. Please ensure that you consult the latest guidance during the course of your practice.

Should you require any further information or support regarding the above, please contact member support - membersupport@alphega-pharmacy.co.uk