Cornwall pharmacies treat GP patients to ease pressure on NHS

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Pharmacies in Cornwall have become the first in the country to offer face-to-face consultations as pressure continues to mount on the NHS.

Up to 10,000 appointments will be offered to people with minor injuries and illnesses by the end of March 2022, freeing up more time for doctors to see those who are seriously unwell.

People who want to see a pharmacist do not need to book an appointment or rely on a referral from their GP.

Following their consultation, pharmacists can electronically update a patient's records so GPs are kept informed.

It follows a trial before Christmas where over 90 per cent of people that used the service had their symptoms successfully treated on site.

People are being asked to think if they could be helped by the local pharmacy instead of their GP. Credit: ITV News

"It's timely and convenient for patients" said Nick Kaye, the interim CEO of Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC).

“We are delighted that community pharmacies in Cornwall are being viewed as part of the solution to the NHS pressures in primary care and that pharmacists’ clinical skills are being utilised.”

Pharmacist Dominic Lam said seeing people on a "day-to-day" basis means he has come to know his St Austell community very well.

"I am happy to see them if they have got any troubles in terms of their health, mental health or even general topics that they need advice on," he added.

All 98 pharmacies in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are taking part.