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Think Pharmacy; a new service to help you be seen more quickly via your local pharmacist for treatment of minor conditions

We have introduced a new, same-day, GP community pharmacy consultation service to help you receive quality care and support for minor health conditions, more quickly through accessing care via your community pharmacist.

How does the service work?

If you live in Somerset and contact your GP to discuss a minor illness or injury, your GP receptionist may offer you a same-day consultation with your community pharmacist. Community pharmacists are highly qualified clinicians and can offer medical advice for minor injuries and illnesses.

During your consultation, your  pharmacist will take your medical history, ask about your symptoms and any current medication you might be taking.

Following the consultation, they will offer you advice and where appropriate, offer you an over-the-counter product. Some pharmacists are also able to offer anti-biotics.

The pharmacist will make a record of the outcome of your consultation on your patient record.

If having given you advice/treatment, your pharmacist thinks you may need further specialist help they will be able to refer you back to your GP or recommend another health service for support.

Community pharmacists in Somerset have already successfully seen thousands of patients for a consultation to provide help and advice around minor conditions, which helps make GP appointments available for patients with more complex medical needs.

What is considered a minor illness or injury?

A minor illnesses or injuries could include:

  • Ankle, foot, knee, leg or arm strains and aches
  • Bites or stings
  • Coughs and colds
  • Eye and ear infections
  • Hay fever
  • Headaches
  • Mouth ulcers and blisters
  • Rashes
  • Skin conditions
  • Sore throat
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this new service about?

Now when you call your GP, you will be asked about your symptoms. If they indicate that you can best be helped by a pharmacist, you will be offered a same day private consultation with a community pharmacist of your choice.

Community pharmacists have already successfully seen thousands of patients for a consultation for a minor illness or injury.

Why are we offering this service?

Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals and experts in medicines. They can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for all sorts of minor conditions, and a same day consultation can be arranged quickly and at a time to suit you. This in turns frees up GP appointments for those people with more complex symptoms who really need to see a GP

What happens when I see the community pharmacist?

We will share your personal details with the pharmacist and information of your minor condition. The pharmacist will contact you to arrange your consultation on the same day, or at a time that suits you.

You may be seen in person in a private consulting room, if the pharmacist thinks it appropriate, or your consultation may be carried out over the phone You will be asked about your medical history and symptoms and current medication, in the same way the GP would ask you about them.

Usually, the pharmacist will provide you with advice and can recommend over the counter products where needed.

Details of your consultation will then be added to your patient record, just as they would be if you have had an appointment with your GP.

If the pharmacist feels you need to be seen by a GP or other health professional, they can either help arrange this or can recommend which service you should contact.

What if I get free prescriptions from my GP?

Your pharmacist will provide you with advice on how to treat your symptoms, which may include a medicine or product. Medicines that can be purchased in a pharmacy to treat minor illnesses, are usually inexpensive and would not normally be prescribed by your GP. You are free to choose if you wish to make a purchase or not.

What happens if I don’t want to see a community pharmacist?

We want to ensure that you are offered an appointment with a qualified health care professional based on your symptoms at the earliest opportunity.

However,  if you prefer, you can wait, and  you will be offered a routine appointment with your GP at a future date.

Can children use the service?

Children over one years old are eligible to use this service and can be seen by the pharmacist in the care of their parent or carer.

Why is this a good thing for patients?

Community pharmacies are local, open longer hours than the GP practice and can offer you the same consultation outcome at a time that is more convenient for you. If the pharmacist thinks you need to see the GP, they can help arrange an appointment for you.

Patients who have already used the service liked the convenience of having a consultation on the same day, or a day that suited them, at a pharmacy of their choice.