NHS want people to use Pharmacy First over busy winter months
We're being urged to seek medical advice from pharmacists, before going to a doctor for certain medical conditions.
The Pharmacy First scheme sees trained pharmacists, in participating branches, giving out medication which normally has to be prescribed by a GP for the following conditions:
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) for women aged 18-64
- Nappy rash
- Conjunctivitis for one-year-olds
Tom Kallis, a community pharmacist in Devon and project lead for Devon Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said: “This is a great service as it offers anyone with one of these illnesses a fast route to treatment – you usually don’t need to make an appointment and you shouldn’t have to wait long.
“Nationally, about 18% of GP appointments could have been treated at a pharmacy. We know GP practices are very busy in winter and so this is about providing a convenient alternative.
“The service is generally for uncomplicated cases and the pharmacist will go through a series of questions with the patient in private. If the pharmacist finds ‘red flag’ symptoms they will refer the patient to their GP to get it checked out.
“It’s about making the most of the fact that a community pharmacist is a highly skilled clinician.”
To see which pharmacies are taking part click here.