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Local chemists 'could do more to help GPs'

Pharmacies could do more to help take the pressure off over-stretched GPs, according to a new study.

Research by Durham University has found most people in the UK live within easy walking distance of a chemist.

This, and not needing an appointment, means pharmacies are well placed to offer greater support in tackling the obesity crisis, excess drinking and smoking, the experts behind the study said.

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Pharmacists could help prevent deaths in 'poorest areas'

Local chemists have a particularly crucial role to play in tackling health concerns such as obesity in deprived areas where more people die of such conditions, according to the author of a new study which recommends pharmacists are empowered to deliver more public health services.

Dr Adam Todd, from Durham University's School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health, led the research which found most people in the UK live within easy walking distance of a chemist.

These results show that pharmacies are well-placed in the community to deliver public health services.

This is particularly important for the poorest areas where more people die from conditions such as smoking, alcohol misuse and obesity compared to people from more affluent areas.

With easy access without patients needing to make an appointment, the results suggest there is potential for community pharmacies to deliver public health interventions to areas which need it most.

– Dr Adam Todd

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