PATIENTS in Evesham and Pershore can now pick up treatment for seven common conditions without the need for a GP appointment.
‘Pharmacy First’ means prescription-only treatment at a local community pharmacy, without the need for a prescription
Sinusitis, acute sore throat, earache and minor ear infections, infected insect bite, impetigo (a contagious skin infection), shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women are the conditions covered.
The expansion of community pharmacy is part of the Government’s £645million primary care recovery plan.
Evesham MP Nigel Huddleston and Pershore’s MP Harriett Baldwin have both welcomed the launch of the Pharmacy First campaign.
Mr Huddleston said:
“The pandemic put huge pressures on our NHS services here in Worcestershire.
“As we continue with our recovery, it is essential patients receive the care they need quickly and easily.
“That is why I am delighted the Government has launched ‘Pharmacy First’, using the skills of our pharmacists to treat more people in the community without the need for a GP appointment.
“It will speed up their own care as well as reducing pressure on local GP services.
“At least 114 pharmacies have signed up to Pharmacy First across Herefordshire and Worcestershire ensuring that local people can access care.”
Ninety-five per cent of pharmacies in England will be offering the expanded services.
Pharmacy First will also be integrated into the NHS website. Therefore when people look for certain symptoms, they will be signposted to a pharmacy.
Making greater use of community pharmacists’ clinical skills and capabilities will support GPs and patients. It’s estimated it will release around 10 million GP appointments per year.
From 2026 all newly-qualified pharmacists will be independent prescribers on the day of registration.
This will equip pharmacists with the skills and knowledge to provide even more clinical care and expand the clinical role of pharmacists across the NHS including in community pharmacy.