Your local pharmacist wil offer professional free health advice at any time - you don't need an appointment. From coughs and colds to aches and pains, they can give you expert help on everyday illnesses. They can answer questions about prescribed and over-the-counter medicines. Your local Pharmacist can also advise on healthy eating.
Pharmacists can also advise on health eating, obesity and giving up smoking. Some pharmacists have private areas where you can talk in confidence. They may suggest you visit your GP for more serious symptoms. It is possible to purchase many medicines from the chemist without a prescription.
What is this pilot about?
From Friday 28 August 2020 patients who are identified with symptoms on an approved list of minor ailments will be referred for a same day private consultation with a community pharmacist
Why are we doing this pilot?
We are participating in this pilot with the aim of improving patient awareness of the highly skilled community pharmacists that can assist them with minor ailment self-care and to improve access to GP appointments for patients with more complex health issues.
What happens when you see the community pharmacist?
Patients are seen in a private consulting room and asked about their medical history and symptoms and current medication in the same way they are asked by a GP. Where the pharmacist can provide you with self-care remedies they will do this and they will send details of your consultation back to the GP for continuity of your care. Where they feel you need to be seen by a GP urgently they will call the practice and we will ensure you are seen. You may also be referred back to your GP to arrange a non-urgent appointment or follow up.
What if a patient gets free prescriptions from their GP?
Minor ailments that require over the counter medication are usually inexpensive and the local Clinical Commissioning Group is already cutting back on what GPs can prescribe. We are therefore promoting paying for low cost prescriptions in the same way you may pay for other incidentals e.g. a coffee or a magazine
What happens if a patient refuses the same day appointment with a qualified community pharmacist?
The role of the GP practice is to offer our patients an appointment with the most appropriate qualified health care professional based on the symptoms presented. If a patient presents with symptoms that can be treated the same day in an appointment with a qualified professional pharmacist and refuses this appointment, the patient will be offered a routine appointment on a future date – not on the same day as this has already been offered.
What if the patient is a child?
Children aged over 2 years are eligible for this service and should be seen by the pharmacist accompanied by a parent/carer for the listed symptoms. Children who are competent in decision making about their health may be seen unaccompanied.
Why is this good for patients?
The 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 with the confidence that if you need to be seen by a GP you will get an urgent appointment. This will make it easier for those with more complex illnesses to see their GP when they need to.