Following on from the NHSE’s decision to launch an ad campaign to encourage people to visit their local pharmacy first for advice on minor illnesses, Malcolm Harrison, the Chief Executive of the CCA said:
“Community pharmacies are often the best place for patient to go for help with minor health concerns. However the current situation that many pharmacies find themselves, with a 30% cut in real term funding, the NHS recruiting their pharmacists and technicians to work in General Practice and with the continuing increase in the number of medicines prescribed, will mean that there is now a very real risk that when patients visit a pharmacy, they will be faced by exhausted teams and longer than expected waiting times.
The NHS policy of asking patients to visit their local pharmacy does not address the problem of delays to access in primary care, it simply moves it from one pressurized location to another. The NHS must address the chronic underfunding of primary care, and of pharmacy in particular, if patients are to be able to access the care they need and should rightly expect.”