Silverbirch Medical Practice, Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland

Pharmacy First

What is Pharmacy First?

Pharmacy First is a new service running from 1 November 2019 - 31 March 2020.  The service enables patients to consult their community pharmacist first for advice and treatment for:

The aim of the service is to displace activity, including consultations, advice and generating prescriptions for these common conditions, from General Practice and Out of Hours services to a community pharmacy based service.  This frees up GP time and allows your GP to see you and other patients when expert medical advice is needed.

This service has been funded by the Department of Health through transformation funding streams.

See the Pharmacy First Video

How does it work?

Referral to the service

  • Patient self referral
  • Referral from GP practice
  • Referral from GP Out of Hours service

Consultation with community pharmacist

In your consultation with the community pharmacist you will be advised of the nature of the ailment, the symptoms to expect, the expected duration of the ailment, any requirement for follow up and any steps that can be taken to alleviate the symptoms.  

The outcome of the consultation might involve the provision of advice and reassurance  alongside medicines which alleviate symptoms.  Patients will not be charged for any medicines that are supplied from the agreed formulary for this service.

Referral to a GP

Where a pharmacists decides that you should consult a GP we have a protocol in place at Silverbirch where the pharmacist will phone the practice a book a telephone triage consultation with a GP for you.  You will then receive a telephone call from a GP the same day.

Patient eligibility

All patients registered with a GP in Northern Ireland are eligible to avail of this service, with the exception of temporary residents and patients living in nursing and residential home.

Participating pharmacies (as of 2018 - awaiting update)


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