'Excellent take-up' of NHS scheme following pharmacy service shake-up

Dr David CrichtonDr David Crichton
Dr David Crichton
A NEW NHS scheme enabling patients to get treatment for common conditions without seeing a GP has seen “excellent take-up” from community pharmacies in South Yorkshire.

Thousands of pharmacists across England can now assess and treat patients for sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bites, impetigo, shingles and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women under 65under a shake-up of pharmacy services.

The new Pharmacy First service is intended to give people more places to access care, with NHS England hoping to free up 10 million GP appointments a year.

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More than nine in ten community pharmacies in England – 10,265 in total – are offering the checks under the Pharmacy First scheme.

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “People across England rightly value the support they receive from their high street pharmacist, and, with eight in ten living within a 20-minute walk of a pharmacy and twice as many pharmacies in areas of deprivation, they are the perfect spot to offer people convenient care for common conditions.”

Dr David Crichton, chief medical officer at NHS South Yorkshire, said: “We welcome the new Pharmacy First service which has seen excellent take up from our community pharmacies across South Yorkshire.

“The service will improve access to healthcare across our area and will enable local people to get quick and convenient care for minor illnesses without the need to visit their GP practice.

“It will also support our busy primary care services who are working hard to provide the most appropriate and timely care for their patients in our communities.”