Local MP Maria Miller welcomes the Pharmacy First launch, which means 276 pharmacies across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will be able to treat common health conditions without patients needing to see a GP. Across the country this frees up around 10 million GP appointments a year as part of the Government’s Primary Care Recovery Plan.
Local MP Maria Miller said,
“The pandemic put huge pressure on our NHS services here in Basingstoke and as we continue with our recovery, it is essential that patients receive the care they need quickly and easily. Pharmacy First means the professional training and skills of our pharmacists can be used to treat more people in the community without the need for a GP appointment, speeding up their own care as well as reducing pressure on local GP services.
“Over 270 pharmacies have signed up to Pharmacy First across Hampshire ensuring that local people can access care when they need it.''
Health and Social Care Secretary, Victoria Atkins MP said:
“I’m determined to deliver faster, simpler, fairer access to care for patients, and the expansion of Pharmacy First will mean patients can get treatment for common conditions without needing to see their GP first.
“This is good news for patients and good news for the NHS. It will free up millions of GP appointments per year and mean that patients can get quick and effective treatment from their local pharmacy.
“As four in five people live within a 20-minute walk of a pharmacy, for many seeing their local pharmacist will be the easiest option – so this initiative will have real benefits for patients and help cut NHS waiting lists.”
Pharmacy First will help patients across Basingstoke to receive care more quickly through better use of our community pharmacies. The scheme enables pharmacists to utilise more of their medical skills and training. This will mean that patients across Basingstoke can receive treatment for seven common health conditions from their local pharmacy without the need to visit a GP or have a prescription.
Their pharmacist will be able to help with conditions include sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women. Following the assessment, the pharmacist can then supply the prescription-only medicines, including antibiotics and antivirals, to treat the problem.
The new Pharmacy First approach will not only speed up access to essential care for patients, but also help to reduce pressure on local GP services by directing people to more appropriate places to be treated. Backed by up to £645 million, 95 per cent of pharmacies across England have opted-in so far, meaning that patients will be able to receive care more quickly without the need to wait for a GP appointment. The Pharmacy First approach builds on the other measures outlined in the Primary Care Recovery Plan last spring. In combination, the Primary Care Recovery Plan aims to free up 10 million GP appointments a year by next winter, and give the public more choice in where and how they access care.