WIGAN health bosses have backed new plans to recruit pharmacists to help treat patients at the borough’s GP practices.
Proposals to have professional pharmacists deal with people with common ailments directly could soon be implemented.
Local pharmacists are a highly trained and trusted source of health advice who can help you manage a long-term health condition; can give sound advice about dealing with your symptoms, they can discuss if you have any troubling side-effects of medication and help with repeat prescriptionsDr Sanjay Wahie
Already, many of the borough’s recently built NHS facilities such as the one at Leigh Health Centre have several GP Practices and pharmacists as well as a walk in centre situated in the same building.
This has made for closer working and has proved to be more convenient for patients.
Dr Sanjay Wahie, local GP and Medicines lead at NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “GP practices across the Borough already work closely with local pharmacists and for many people it makes sense to pop down to your local pharmacy for quick health advice.
“NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group employs a number of pharmacists who work closely with care homes and GP Practices to support safe and effective use of prescription medicines.
“Local pharmacists are a highly trained and trusted source of health advice who can help you manage a long-term health condition; can give sound advice about dealing with your symptoms, they can discuss if you have any troubling side-effects of medication and help with repeat prescriptions.
“Pharmacists have longer opening hours than GP practices, you don’t need an appointment to see one, there are no queues and many have a consultation area where you can speak privately.
“They’ll also tell you if they think you should see your GP.”
The new scheme would involve pharmacists providing health advice and they would be able to prescribe medication once extra training had been completed.
Charities have also welcomed the move but say patient safety must be a priority. Proposals have been issued by the Royal College of General Practice (RCGP) and Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).
It could mean when patients call up their GP they are instead offered an appointment with a pharmacist.