Extended pharmacist role 'would save each GP an hour a day'

Plans to extend the role of pharmacies would save every GP the equivalent of around one hour per day, according to the DoH.

It proposes that pharmacies will be able to be the first port of call for minor ailments, saving 57 million GP consultations a year, provide support for people with long-term conditions, be able to screen for vascular disease and STIs including chlamydia and play a bigger role in vaccination.

Health minister Ben Bradshaw said: ‘These proposals are not about pharmacists taking over the work of GPs - it's about complementing them, taking pressure off GPs and enabling them to spend more time with those patients who really need it.'

DoH proposals are contained in White Paper ‘Building on Strengths, Delivering the Future'.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘We agree that there are many areas in which appropriately trained pharmacists can take on extended roles in primary care and we would welcome this. To do so they will need to provide private and confidential areas for consultations.

‘We believe that the overall management of patients with long-term conditions is best done within general practice but pharmacists have a role to play in supporting patients in their use of medicines.'

neil.durham@haymarket.com

DoH guidance

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