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Boots welcomes pharmacy reforms in England and confirms plans to roll out new services to patients

16 November 2023
News Healthcare
  • Boots will launch the NHS Pharmacy First Service in England early next year 
  • Boots will also roll out the NHS Pharmacy Contraception Service in the coming months having successfully piloted the service in 22 stores in England  
  • The NHS Blood Pressure Check service is already available at most Boots stores in England  

Boots has welcomed pharmacy reforms in England announced by the government today. Responding to the news, Boots has confirmed it plans to launch an NHS Pharmacy First Service in its stores in England, early next year.  

Under the service, pharmacists will be commissioned to offer advice and treatment, including prescription medicines where appropriate, for seven minor ailments including sore throats, insect bites and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women. Patients will be able to access the service with no appointment needed. 

Other NHS services that the government today confirmed will be expanded further into pharmacies in England include the NHS Pharmacy Contraceptive Service, which Boots will roll out in the coming months following a successful pilot in 22 stores, and the NHS Blood Pressure Check Service, which Boots already offers in most stores.  

The UK’s leading health and beauty retailer says that new and expanded NHS services being delivered in community pharmacies is good news for patients, pharmacy teams and GPs alike.  

Seb James, Managing Director of Boots UK & Ireland, said: “We welcome the government’s announcement of plans to launch new contraception and minor ailments services in England, which will make life easier for patients to access the care and medicines they need quickly and help reduce GP wait lists.  

“We have been working with our pharmacy teams in stores to roll out these new services to patients in England. We are already commissioned to deliver similar services for the NHS in Scotland and Wales and these are very popular with our patients and pharmacy team members.  

“The free NHS blood pressure checks that we offer at most of our stores in England can save lives by spotting potential cardiovascular problems at an early stage, which also helps to reduce the burden on the NHS longer term.  

“With over 2,000 stores across the UK, we are committed to providing easy to access healthcare on the high street and at the heart of communities. Pharmacists are highly trained healthcare professionals with expert knowledge of medicines. Not only do they dispense prescription medicines, offer healthcare advice and recommend over the counter treatments, in recent years their role has expanded to include the delivery of vital NHS healthcare services like COVID-19 and flu vaccinations.” 

Boots provides healthcare at the heart of communities through expert advice, a wide range of products and a growing number of services. With over 2,000 stores across the UK, over 80% of the population lives within 10 minutes of a Boots store. Customers can also find a wide range of healthcare information, products and services for a wide range of conditions through the Boots Health Hub. Find out more about how Boots pharmacy teams can help here


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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023