From today until the end of March, all pharmacies in Cornwall are offering face to face assessments for a wide range of minor ailments, and NHS treatment as required – the first service of its kind in England.
This follows a pilot over the Christmas period where over 90% of people that used the service had their symptoms successfully treated on site.
Patients can visit the pharmacy without an appointment or referral for a consultation with the pharmacist that takes place in a consultation room and receive NHS treatment if appropriate. A record of the service will be electronically sent to the patient’s GP for completeness.
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) is promoting this new service as it will directly help relieve system pressures. The health service is under unprecedented demand due the ongoing covid pandemic and will come under more pressure as we move into what is historically its busiest season through winter.
Community pharmacy is a key NHS provider and throughout the pandemic has continued to deliver face to face advice and treatment for minor ailments as well as delivering record numbers of flu vaccinations whilst maintaining the business-as-usual operation of the safe supply of medication.
Welcoming the news was St Austell and Newquay’s Member of Parliament Steve Double, who said:
“I am delighted to see Cornwall trail-blazing yet again with this rollout out of new NHS services available via community pharmacies. As former Chair of the All- Party Parliamentary Group for Pharmacy, I am well aware of the crucial work our pharmacies do for our communities, and this has never been more apparent than during the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage residents across Cornwall to take advantage of these new services and help relieve pressure on our NHS during this busy time.”
Nick Kaye interim CEO of Cornwall & IoS Local Pharmaceutical Partnership, said:
“We are delighted that community pharmacies in Cornwall are being viewed as part of the solution to the NHS pressures in primary care and that pharmacists’ clinical skills are being utilised to help the population of Cornwall & IoS access convenient healthcare that is linked back to the GP practice. It’s timely and convenient for patients. We hope this first of a kind service offer in England will be a great success and could be a model that others follow in the future.”