A new pharmaceutical initiative has been launched by NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group and Community Pharmacy Liverpool, allowing the people of Merseyside the ability to obtain certain prescription medicines from their local pharmacy, without having to consult a GP first.
The new scheme is only available in Liverpool-based pharmacies and will cover treatments for any of the following symptoms:
- Sore throats
- Urinary infections
- Eye infections (conjunctivitis)
- Oral thrush in babies
- Mild skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema or insect bite reactions
- Nappy rash for babies
- Other skin problems such as minor cuts, burns, and scalds
Matt Harvey, Chief Officer for Community Pharmacy Liverpool said: “Pharmacy First is a really exciting development for pharmacies and for patients in Liverpool, as it means that many people will be able to get treatment for minor health problems more quickly and conveniently, without needing to wait for a GP appointment first.”
He added: “A pharmacist will simply ask a few quick questions, and as long as a patient is suitable for treatment and hasn’t recently been prescribed treatment for the same thing already, they’ll be able to offer access to it there and then – no prescription required.”
The service is accessible for parents and carers with their children and comes as the latest measure the NHS is deploying to arrest the backlog that's affecting NHS services up and down the country.
Dr Janet Bliss, a local GP and Chair of NHS Liverpool CCG said: “Using Pharmacy First can be a really quick and easy alternative to visiting your local GP Practice or NHS Walk-in Centre for treatment and advice for certain common conditions.”
She added: “Not only does using this service allow patients to get faster treatment for these minor conditions, but it will also help free up GP appointments for patients with more complex health problems that can’t be dealt with in a pharmacy setting too – so it really will benefit lots of patients.”
The Pharmacy First offer will run in conjunction with the already existing Care the Chemist scheme and if proven to be successful, it could see a more comprehensive national scheme introduced.
More information about the Pharmacy First service is available here.