NHS Pharmacy First Scotland - Equality Impact Assessment Results

Equality impact assessment results for the NHS Pharmacy First Scotland service provided in community pharmacies.

Equality Impact Assessment - Results

Title of Policy

NHS Pharmacy First Scotland

Summary of aims and desired outcomes of Policy

To re-design the current community pharmacy Minor Ailment Service (MAS) and implement a new service available to all

Directorate: Division: team

CMO Directorate: Pharmacy and Medicines Division: Pharmacy Branch

Executive summary

The policy intention is to develop and implement a redesigned minor ailment and common conditions service available to all.


Programme for Government 2018/19 included a commitment to develop and implement a redesigned minor ailment and common conditions service available to all.  The redesigned service, named NHS Pharmacy First Scotland, is available in all NHS community pharmacies from 29 July 2020.

The new service represents an expansion of the community pharmacy Minor Ailment Service (MAS) which has been in place across Scotland since 2006 and encompasses the current Pharmacy First service.  It expands who can access the service and aims to encourage everyone to go to their local pharmacy for support with minor health and common clinical conditions instead of to A&E or their GP practice.  Pharmacies will undertake an NHS Pharmacy First Scotland consultation and provide advice, treatment or referral to another healthcare professional if appropriate.

The Scope of the EQIA

The scope of the Equality Impact Assessment was to identify which groups would be adversely affected by the policy.

Key Findings

NHS Pharmacy First Scotland is available to everyone who is registered with a GP practice in Scotland or who lives in Scotland.  The eligibility criteria specifically states that asylum seekers and their dependents, plus gypsy/travellers are eligible to use NHS Pharmacy First Scotland.  Residents of care homes and other care settings are also eligible.

This means that more people are now able to use the service than were previously eligible to use the minor ailment service (MAS).  It is anticipated that this policy will lead to improved access to community pharmacies for advice and treatment for minor health issues and common clinical conditions.

Recommendations and Conclusion

We will work with NHS National Services Scotland and Public Health Scotland to develop a process for regular monitoring and review of the use of NHS Pharmacy First Scotland.  This will include analysis of the groups that are using the service.

This EQIA will be reviewed once NHS Pharmacy First Scotland has been in operation for six months to ensure there is no adverse impact for a particular group.


Email: pharmacyteam@gov.scot

Back to top