Pharmacy healthcare 'revolution' offers quick and
convenient care for common conditions.
Patients can now see their local pharmacists for seven
common health conditions under a new high street healthcare
More than 600 pharmacies across the North East and North
Cumbria can now offer expert advice and medication for illnesses
including sinusitis, sore throat, and shingles without the need for
a GP appointment.
Earache, impetigo, and infected insect bites can also be
treated under the new service, designed to boost access to care and
free up GP time, enabling local doctors to help those with more
In addition, women under 65 can get advice and treatment
for uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) without the need
for a GP appointment or prescription - a scheme which was
successfully piloted across the North East and North Cumbria before
being rolled out across the rest of the country.
Ewan Maule, director of medicines and pharmacy for NHS
North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) said,
"Local pharmacies are at the heart of our communities and this new
service will make it quicker and easier for thousands of people
across the region to access NHS care - offering a faster and more
convenient way to get the medication they need.
"Patients who need treatment or prescription medication
for any of the seven common conditions, like an earache or sore
throat, will now be able to get it directly from a pharmacy without
waiting for a GP appointment.
"Across the North East and North Cumbria, we have already
seen the impact that local community pharmacies can have following
the launch of our own regional UTI scheme in July 2022.
"More than 30,000 women have already benefitted from using
this service, which is fantastic, and it's great to see that is has
now been rolled out across the rest of the country."
The seven common conditions that pharmacists can now treat
The scheme is part of the national NHS primary care access
recovery plan, which is committed to making accessing healthcare
easier for millions of people.
"There has been a major transformation in the way the NHS
delivers care and community pharmacies are now much more than a
place to pick up a prescription," added Mr Maule.
"Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals and
are well placed within our local communities to offer an 'open
door' to the NHS for health advice including blood pressure checks
and advice on contraception, without the need for an appointment.
They can also refer you to other healthcare services if they feel
that is needed.
"Many are open weekends, with some open late into the
evening. You can walk in and talk in confidence - giving you more
choice in seeking fast and more convenient access to healthcare
'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly,
efficiently and professionally with full explanations and
compassion from all staff involved'.
Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital