Medicines Management News

Updated Community Pharmacy Think Pharmacy Patient Group Directions (PGDs)

As you are aware the Wirral Think Pharmacy service aims to divert patients with specified minor ailments from general practice and other urgent care settings (e.g., out of hours, urgent care centre, Accident & Emergency department) to community pharmacy where the patient can be treated in a single episode of care.

One of the Think Pharmacy PGDs, for sumatriptan, expires on 31st March 2021.  The CCG have reviewed, updated, and approved this PGD.

Pharmacies commissioned to provide the CCG minor ailment service, must ensure that any staff operating under the PGD have read and signed a copy of the new PGD and that a signed copy of the PGD is kept at the pharmacy.  The pharmacy can then start using this PGD from 1st April 2021.

The other PGD due to expire at the end of March 2021 was chloramphenicol 0.5% eye drops but this PGD has been suspended – please see the message below sent to Wirral pharmacy contractors.

‘Suspension of the Think Pharmacy Chloramphenicol Eye Drops 0.5% PGD with immediate effect' 

The SPC for chloramphenicol eye drops 0.5% has been updated with the following statement in section 4.3 and 4.4

"This medicinal product must not be given to a child less than 2 years old as it contains boron and may impair fertility in the future.”

Therefore, the product should no longer be supplied as part of the Think Pharmacy Minor Ailments Service, with immediate effect.  The PGD for Chloramphenicol eye ointment 1% can continue to be used as this preparation does not contain boron.  Please cascade this message to any colleagues who are involved in signposting to or delivering the Think Pharmacy Minor Ailments Service’ 

Community Pharmacy Cheshire & Wirral website

All the Think Pharmacy PGDs, including the recently updated PGD, which are listed below, can be found on the Community Pharmacy Cheshire & Wirral website here.

The Community Pharmacy Cheshire & Wirral have a dedicated COVID-19 page here.

Telephone Consultations

Additionally, recognising the infection risk from COVID-19 and the likelihood of patient isolation, the CCG have agreed to amend the service to permit telephone consultations, followed by collection of medication by a representative (or delivery if available).  Telephone consultation should be the preferred method of providing this service.  The Nystatin PGD required amending and the CCG letter authorising this can be found here.

In summary this means that both Community Pharmacy EHC and Think Pharmacy Minor Ailment consultations in the Wirral should now be conducted over the telephone unless the patient is already present in the pharmacy.  Community Pharmacy supervised consumption is only observed in those most at risk and this will be agreed with the pharmacist and Wirral Ways to Recovery on an individual patient basis.

Enhancing Self-Care Medicines Use - Toolkit


In March 2018, a public consulation led to the publication of guidance for CCGs on the treatment of conditions for which OTC items should no longer be routinely prescribed:

The NHS England national guidance aims to reduce the routine prescribing of products for conditions that;

  • Are, considered to be, self-limiting, and therefore do not need treatment as they will get better own their own accord.
  • Lend themselves to self-care i.e. the person suffering does not normally need to seek medical advice and can simply and effectively manage the condition by purchasing over-the-counter items from their local pharmacy.
  • Can be treated with over-the-counter products in a more cost-effective manner than via an NHS prescription.
  • Have little evidence of clinical effectiveness.

Please refer to the NHS Wirral CCG Self-Care Policy

This is an interactive PDF is an implementation tool which has been developed to aid GPs, pharmacists, other healthcare professionals and supporting organisations to implement the national guidance for conditions that can be treated over the counter.

To navigate, use the arrow buttons on each page or locate a specific section using the tabs and buttons within the document.

  • The tool aims to provide a shared perspective and support for the implementation of NHS England's national self-care agenda and accelerate uptake, enabling commissioners, healthcare professionals and patients to understand and apply national advice.
  • The tool has been designed to guide clinicians and organisations through the decisions that need to be made and provide easy access to a variet of support materials to increase the uptake of selfcare treatments and strategies by patients, enabling improved use of NHS resources.
  • Over-the-counter medicines are those that can be sold by local pharmacies, some but not all can be sold by loccal supermarkets and other shops. We promote the  use of local pharmacies as a wider range of products are available and this is supported by professional advice.
  • Some of the information contained has been gathered from organisations where previous introduction of self-care strategies has gone well to share learning and reduce duplication across the NHS.
  • This tool should be read in conjunction with the national guidance.
  • Any information contained within this tool should be used as a guide and tailored to local practice and patient needs as required. 

December 2020

Letter sent to Wirral Opticians regarding prescribing of medications available to purchase over the counter

January 2020

Letter sent to Wirral Opticians regarding prescribing of medications avaliable to purchase over the counter

Wirral Health Economy has become part of the Pan Mersey Area Prescribing Committee (APC)

Wirral Health Economy became part of the Pan Mersey Area Prescribing Committee (APC) in January 2018. A process for merging Wirral recommendations with those of the Pan Mersey APC is currently underway. In the meantime please continue to refer to this website for existing recommendations in Wirral.

Links to Pan Mersey guidance will be added where appropriate as specific guidelines / recommendations become approved on Wirral.