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  • Writer's pictureHealthwatch West Berkshire

Women soon able to get contraceptive pill from pharmacies

From December 2024, the contraceptive pill will be available to women in England from their local pharmacy.

This is one element of the NHS and government’s primary care access recovery plan which looks to expand the responsibilities of pharmacies to ease pressures on general practice.

How will it work?

  • Women will be able to access the pill through their pharmacy, without the need for a GP appointment or prescription.

  • If women opt for the combined oestrogen and progestogen pill, they will have a check-up with a pharmacist to record their blood pressure and weight. No checks are needed for the mini pill (progestogen only). Women who are at higher risks of blood clots on the combined pill (for instance, women with high blood pressure) may be referred to their GP for further checks.

Pharmacies will need to sign up to offer the new service, so it will not be immediately available everywhere. To see if your local pharmacy has signed up, check the NHS web site HERE

Healthwatch England commented on the initiative and welcomed the convenience of being able to get the contraceptive pill at a local pharmacy.

William Pett, our Head of Policy, Research and Public Affairs, commented: ‘If this initiative is effectively communicated and delivered, it will make a real difference to patients and relieve the pressure on hard-pressed services.”

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