The Government have this week launched Pharmacy First, which enables pharmacists to provide treatment for seven common health conditions without the need for a patient to visit the GP or have a prescription.
Pharmacists will now be able to help with conditions like sore throats, sinusitis, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women.
This new approach will not only speed up access to essential care for patients, but also help to reduce pressure on local GP services. Backed by up to £645 million, 95 per cent of pharmacies across England have opted-in so far, including 302 across Humber and North Yorkshire ICB.
Pharmacy First builds on the other measures outlined in the Primary Care Recovery Plan last year which, taken together, aims to free up ten million GP appointments a year by next winter.
Julian Smith said, “The pandemic put huge pressure on our local services and, while real progress is being made, it’s no secret that our fantastic GPs face significant pressure, particularly over the winter.
“That’s why I’m really pleased that Pharmacy First has been launched. Seven of the most common ailments that clog up our GP’s time can now be dealt with by your local pharmacy, alleviating pressure and helping to end the 8am rush.
“I’d encourage everyone to make the most of this new approach. It’s a sensible initiative, making the most of the brilliant local pharmacists on our doorstep.”