To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has had discussions with the pharmacy sector on utilising the skills and knowledge of chemists to enable them to treat minor injuries and relieve pressure on GPs and A&E departments.
In October last year the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) was launched. In the first 16 weeks, the CPCS saw over 176,000 people with minor illness referred by NHS 111 to their local community pharmacy, for quick same day-advice from a qualified health professional; relieving pressure on accident and emergency and general practitioner (GP) services. NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently piloting the extension of the service to GP surgeries.
This service is part of a wider Government ambition to encourage people to think ‘Pharmacy First’. The Government has set out its landmark five-year deal for community pharmacy, which was published last year following consultation with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee on how to better use the skills of community pharmacists and their teams to better support patients closer to home.