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More than 10,000 NHS pharmacies begin treating people for common conditions

pharmacy reform

Patients in England will be able to get treatment for seven common conditions at their high street pharmacy from today without needing to see a GP, as part of a major transformation in the way the NHS delivers care.

More than nine in ten community pharmacies in England - 10,265 in total - will be offering the ground-breaking initiative, with the health service making it easier and more convenient for people to access care.

Highly trained pharmacists will be able to assess and treat patients for sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women (under the age of 65) without the need for a GP appointment or prescription.

The major expansion of pharmacy services will give the public more choice in where and how they access care, aiming to free up 10 million GP appointments a year.

pharmacist

The scheme is part of the NHS and government's primary care access recovery plan, which committed to making accessing healthcare easier for millions of people.

It builds on the successful expansion of the contraceptive pill service in December 2023, with more than 5,000 pharmacies now registered to offer women the chance to get a supply of oral contraception over the counter from their pharmacy without needing to first see their GP.

In future, the NHS expects almost half a million women a year to receive their contraception from their high street pharmacist.

'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after and very impressed.'

Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital