New Pharmacy First Service

We have all known for years of the difficulty in getting an appointment at the surgery, which is not a local but national problem. It is not the fault of the hard working receptionists, GPs, Paramedics, Nurses or Pharmacists, it is the fault of an overwhelmed, underfunded system.

We are lucky to have an excellent pharmacy right in the midst of the village, staffed by the lovely, Winnus, Karen and the team.

The Government have just announced their new “Pharmacy First Service” in their Primary Care Recovery Plan which will enable patients to be treated by the pharmacy as the first step, and the pharmacists will be able to prescribe some medications including antibiotics and antivirals where suitable for some specific conditions:

These seven conditions are:

  • Sinusitis
  • Sore throat
  • Earache
  • Infected insect bite
  • Impetigo
  • Shingles
  • Uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women

Although it is possible this list will change prior to the service launch, as aspects are still under negotiation.

Some of these conditions can already be treated by the pharmacy, if in doubt, go and see them.

The new service is “promised” to be live by end 2023, but I would imagine they will want it running by late autumn, to take the pressure off surgeries as winter approaches.

Whenever you think you need to see the GP, you would be well advised to pop into the pharmacy first, the pharmacist has had 5 years of intensive training, and may well be able to give you the advice you need without the wait, saving you and the GP valuable time. At worst the pharmacist will be able to give you an indication of urgency, which when you speak to the receptionist, should help them find you a relevant appointment.

It is our NHS, we may feel it could or should have been run differently, but it is still our collective problem, we must all work together to reduce unnecessary demand, to allow the patients in real need to access the specialists, and if you have an irritation, a rash, cough, itch, runny nose, constipation, diarrhoea etc etc speak to the pharmacy, before you pick up the phone to the surgery, it will help you, and the NHS.

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