From 31st January 2024, people across Benfleet, Thundersley and Hadleigh can pop down to their local pharmacy for help with seven minor conditions which would previously have required a GP appointment.
Earlier this year 75% of people said they wanted to see pharmacies offering more healthcare services such as treating urinary tract infections or sore throats, and now they will be. Almost all pharmacies will offer the new service, giving advice and, if needed, NHS medicines, to treat seven common health conditions – and all without needing to get a GP appointment.
As experts in medicines and managing minor illnesses, pharmacists have been backed by Government and the NHS to provide a new NHS ‘Pharmacy First’ service. At least eight pharmacies across Benfleet, Thundersley and Hadleigh have signed up to support people in certain age groups seeking help for sore throats, earache in children, sinusitis, infected insect bites, impetigo, shingles, and urinary tract infections in women.
If you have symptoms that suggest you may have one of these conditions, you can now walk into a pharmacy and be offered a consultation with the pharmacist.
Should the pharmacy team be unable to help, you will be directed to your GP surgery or A&E as appropriate.
By thinking ‘Pharmacy First’, people will find it easier and quicker to get the help they need and bypass the 8am rush to book an appointment with their GP. The new service is part of a wider expansion of healthcare services that will empower pharmacists to use more of their skills and give people more choice about their healthcare. It is also hoped that the service will be expanded to include more conditions in the future.
Find the new service at a pharmacy near you using the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/prescriptions-and-pharmacies/