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Visit your local pharmacy first for seven minor conditions

pharamcy first details

From 31st January 2024 people across England can pop down to their local pharmacy for help with seven minor conditions which would previously have required a GP appointment.

Earlier this year 75% of people said they wanted to see pharmacies offering more healthcare services such as treating urinary tract infections or sore throats, and now they will be. Almost all pharmacies will offer the new service, giving advice and, if needed, NHS medicines, to treat seven common health conditions – and all without needing to get a GP appointment.

As experts in medicines and managing minor illnesses, pharmacists have been backed by Government and the NHS to provide a new NHS ‘Pharmacy First’ service.

The service covers:

  1. Sinusitis – for children and adults aged 12 years and over;
  2. Sore throat – for children and adults aged 5 years and over;
  3. Earache (Acute otitis media) – for children aged 1 to 17 years;
  4. Infected insect bite – for children and adults aged 1 year and over;
  5. Impetigo – for children and adults aged 1 year and over;
  6. Shingles – for adults aged 18 years and over; and
  7. Uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women aged 16 to 64 years.

If you have symptoms that suggest you may have one of these conditions, you can now walk into a pharmacy and be offered a consultation with the pharmacist. Under the new service pharmacists can provide advice and, if clinically necessary, will offer an NHS medicine to treat it (NHS prescription charge apply if you normally pay for medicines supplied on prescription). Should the pharmacy team be unable to help, you will be directed to your GP surgery or A&E as appropriate.

By thinking ‘Pharmacy First’, people will find it easier and quicker to get the help they need and bypass the 8am rush to book an appointment with their GP. The new service is part of a wider expansion of healthcare services that will empower pharmacists to use more of their skills and give people more choice about their healthcare. It is also hoped that the service will be expanded to include more conditions in the future.

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