“GP practices, hospitals and community pharmacies have all had to adapt and innovate in response to the events of the last 18 months, in many cases embracing digital technology as never before to offer patients the services and advice they need.
“As we move slowly back towards ‘normality’ and people’s expectations change – particularly around face-to-face medical consultations – it will be more important than ever to ensure that those with self-treatable health conditions who can self care appropriately and effectively are supported to do so.
“That’s why we are very pleased to see the support in today’s NHS England and NHS Improvement report for the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS), which allows GPs to refer patients for an appointment with a community pharmacist if that’s judged the most appropriate option.
“PAGB’s self care survey earlier this year found widespread public backing for the scheme, with almost seven out of ten respondents (69%) saying they supported the idea of GP surgeries referring patients to a pharmacist for help in managing a self-treatable condition, rather than arranging a GP consultation.
“We also agree with the report’s authors that more can and should be done to raise awareness of the skills and expertise of pharmacists and other healthcare practitioners, so that people know where they can go for the best advice about self care if they do not need to see a GP.”