A new service where patients can have a face-to-face or remote consultation with a community pharmacist for minor illness - helping to alleviate demand on general practice.
NHS England have launched a Toolkit, a practical guide for GP practices and PCNs on how patients can be referred to community pharmacists from general practice for minor illness conditions.
As well as alleviating some pressure on general practice, the aim is to improve access for patients with minor illness and to increase patient awareness of the role of the community pharmacist as a first port of call.
When the patient calls the surgery for an appointment the reception team advises the patient to attend a local pharmacy. If the patient agrees, a referral is sent electronically to the pharmacy.
Many of the pilot sites have found the service very beneficial, with 5-10% of patients better signposted to a community pharmacist. For more information: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/CPCS-Minor-Illness-Pathway-GP-PCN-Toolkit.pdf