NHS community pharmacy

Pharmacy expansion to be backed by new NHS awareness campaign

NHS England (NHSE) is looking to support the primary care access recovery plan as it launches a new campaign to drive awareness of the new capabilities in high-street pharmacies.

At the end of last month, NHSE announced that pharmacies would begin offering treatment for seven common conditions, including sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections.

More than 10,000 sites – accounting for over nine in 10 community pharmacies in England – joined the ground-breaking initiative.

NHSE says the move can free up 10 million GP appointments a year.

Now, the health service is launching TV, radio, in-person and social media adverts to encourage people to take advantage of their pharmacy’s newfound scope.

Andrea Leadsom comment

Some pharmacy signs will be rebranded during the campaign to ensure patients know of the new services on offer and the symptoms for things like earache and insect bites.

The health service highlights the move follows a recent Ipsos study that showed most (58%) of the public consider pharmacies as their most likely destination for information on a minor health condition.

Despite this, one in five (20%) say they do not usually contact or visit community pharmacies.

NHSE’s medical director for primary care, Dr Claire Fuller, says: “The changes that the NHS has made to community pharmacy services mean that people now have a new easy and convenient way of managing and treating many common illnesses.”

She adds: “This important campaign will help people understand the new level of support that pharmacies can offer, with skilled and highly-qualified health professionals delivering even more excellent support in local communities.”

Image credit: iStock

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