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NHS ‘Pharmacy first’ consultation service proves a success

by Ace Damon
NHS ‘Pharmacy first’ consultation service proves a success

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Starting in October, the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service received a "fantastic success".

About 114,275 patients with minor illnesses or urgent medication needs were met by the project, which aims to reduce the number of GP and A&A appointments.

Patients received same-day referrals to their local pharmacist for evaluation and treatment after calling the hotline 111.

Call handlers handled 64,067 urgent drug requests for conditions such as diabetes and asthma during the first 10 weeks of service launch.

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And advice was given to 50,208 people with minor illnesses such as sore throats and earaches.

The latest NHS performance figures show record numbers of NHS 111 A&E department calls, ambulance calls, and calls for help.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I want to see pharmacists ready and able to do much more to help people stay healthy and avoid pressure in hospitals.

"This 'pharmacy first' approach makes life easier for patients and helps reduce pressure on the NHS. I want to see more patients with minor illnesses evaluated near home, saving them from unnecessary trips to the A&E or GP and helping get the care and advice they need faster.

“Thousands of patients who receive same-day counseling from highly qualified pharmacists are just what we need. The community pharmacy is an integral and reliable part of the NHS and we want all patients with a minor illness to think of "pharmacy first". "

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The service, which registered 10,610 pharmacies, is funded through the £ 2.5 billion per year fund agreed under the five-year “community pharmacy contractual framework”.

The scheme is expected to expand to include GP references by the end of the year.

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