NHS Somerset launch pharmacy first for treatment of seven common conditions without needing a GP appointment

From 31 January, residents who are registered with a Somerset GP, can pop down to their local pharmacy for help with seven minor conditions which would previously have required a GP appointment. At the pharmacy patients will be able to have a private consultation about their condition, be offered clinical advice and if needed, will be offered NHS medicines.

(NHS prescription charge apply if you normally pay for medicines supplied on prescription).

The conditions are

  • Sinusitis (children over 12 years and adults)
  • Sore throat (children over 5 years and adults)
  • Earache (children 1 to 17 years)
  • Infected insect bites (children over 1 and adults)
  • Impetigo (children over 1 and adults)
  • Shingles (over 18’s)
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), (women 16 – 65 years).

As experts in medicines and managing minor illnesses, community pharmacists have the skills and knowledge to be able to offer advice and help.

Should the pharmacy team be unable to help, you will be directed to your GP surgery or A&E as appropriate.

Michael Lennox CEO of Community Pharmacy Somerset (LPC) says, “By thinking ‘Pharmacy First’, people in Somerset will find it easier and quicker to get the help they need for seven common minor conditions and bypass the 8am rush to book an appointment with their GP”.

The new service will give people more choice in where and how they access care. Pharmacy First, will save up to 10 million GP appointments over the next year, helping people to get the care they need more quickly. In Somerset, the scheme is likely to free up thousands of GP appointments every year, for patients who need to see their GP.

To find your nearest community pharmacy visit Find a pharmacy – NHS (www.nhs.uk)