Expanding community pharmacy services in Surrey Heartlands with Pharmacy First | News centre

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Expanding community pharmacy services in Surrey Heartlands with Pharmacy First

Patients in Surrey Heartlands are now able to get treatment for seven common conditions at their local community pharmacy without needing to see a GP. Launched earlier this year, Pharmacy First is part of a major transformation in the way the NHS delivers care.

Pharmacists can give you advice on a range of conditions and suggest medicines that can help. They may also be able to offer treatment and prescription medicine for certain conditions, without you needing to see a GP (this is called Pharmacy First). Conditions they can treat as part of Pharmacy First are:

  • earache (aged 1 to 17 years)
  • impetigo (aged 1 year and over)
  • infected insect bites (aged 1 year and over)
  • shingles (aged 18 years and over)
  • sinusitis (aged 12 years and over)
  • sore throat (aged 5 years and over)
  • urinary tract infections or UTIs (women aged 16 to 64 years)

If you go to a pharmacy with one of these conditions, the pharmacist will offer you advice, treatment or refer you to a GP or other healthcare professional if needed. They will then update your GP health record.

If you are not within these age ranges, a pharmacist can still offer advice, but you may need to see a GP for treatment.

Data highlights that sore throat is the most common condition that people are presenting with at pharmacies, with uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) and acute otitis media (earache) featuring as the next two most common conditions being seen by pharmacists within the Pharmacy First initiative.

Pharmacy First provides quicker and easier access to healthcare advice and support, especially at weekend or outside core hours.

Mala Mahasuria, Independent Prescriber, East Elmbridge Community Pharmacy said:

We are thrilled to be a part of the expansion of services within community pharmacy. Pharmacists are highly skilled individuals, and we are conveniently placed within the community to provide better accessibility for patients. Pharmacy First builds on the work we’re already doing to help patients with advice and treatment for a wide range of minor illnesses, as well as offering things like vaccinations for flu and covid-19.

Patients now have the option to be treated for these seven conditions without having to see their GP, freeing up more appointments. Our aim is to expand what we can treat in the future, giving the public more choice in where and how they access care.


Find a local pharmacy and more on our pharmacy webpage



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