Kemi Badenoch MP has welcomed the launch of the Conservative Government’s Pharmacy First approach, helping patients across the Saffron Walden constituency, which includes Chelmsford villages and Uttlesford, to receive care more quickly through better use of our community pharmacies.
455 pharmacies across the Mid and South Essex and Hertfordshire and West Essex areas have signed up to Pharmacy First so far, which enables pharmacists to utilise more of their medical skills and training. This will mean that patients across the constituency can receive treatment for seven common health conditions from their local pharmacy without the need to visit a GP or have a perscription.
Their pharmacist will be able to help with conditions include sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women. Following the assessment, the pharmacist can then supply the prescription-only medicines, including antibiotics and antivirals, to treat the problem.
The new Pharmacy First approach will not only speed up access to essential care for patients, but also help to reduce pressure on local GP services by directing people to more appropriate places to be treated. Backed by up to £645 million, 95 per cent of pharmacies across England have opted-in so far, meaning that patients will be able to receive care more quickly without the need to wait for a GP appointment.
The Pharmacy First approach builds on the other measures outlined in the Primary Care Recovery Plan last spring, including tackling the 8am rush by giving GPs new digital tools and providing more GP staff and more appointments.
In combination, the Primary Care Recovery Plan aims to free up 10 million GP appointments a year by next winter and given the public more choice in where and how they access care.
The Conservative Government has made strong progress on improving access to primary care including meeting its manifesto pledge to deliver 50 million additional GP appointments since 2019 and recruiting record numbers of doctors and nurses for the NHS.
By sticking to the plan, the Government is delivering on the Prime Minister’s pledge to cut NHS waiting lists, delivering more care in the community, and ensuring that patients receive the care they need, when they need it.
Commenting, Mrs Badenoch said:
“The pandemic put huge pressure on NHS services across the constituency and wider region and as we continue with our recovery, it is essential that patients receive the care they need quickly and easily.
“Last month I visited Well Pharmacy in Saffron Walden to discuss the Pharmacy First approach and how using the skills of our pharmacists to treat more people in the community, without the need for a GP appointment, will speed up care as well as help reduce pressure on local GP services.”