General Practitioners

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 23 October 2023.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Conservative, South Holland and The Deepings

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what modelling his Department has undertaken on the expected number of GP appointments to be freed up as a result of the delivery of the Pharmacy First service in (a) 2023-24, (b) 2024-25 and (c) subsequent financial years.

Photo of Neil O'Brien Neil O'Brien The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care was published in May 2023. It invests up to £645 million to support a Pharmacy First service which will include expanded treatment options for seven common conditions, including earache, sore throat, and urinary tract infections. This will allow community pharmacists to assess patients and supply certain prescription-only medicines without a prescription from a general practitioner. In addition, NHS Pharmacy Contraception and NHS Blood Pressure Checks services will be expanded to enable community pharmacies to provide more women with contraception and do more blood pressure checks.

These services could free up 10 million appointments in general practice a year once scaled and subject to ongoing consultation with Community Pharmacy England.

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