MEDICATIONS for common ailments such as sore throats and ears will be available direct from pharmacies to try and take some of the pressure off GPs.
Drugs that normally require a prescription are being offered over the counter to save $15 million doctor appointments.
Women will no longer need to visit a GP to secure birth control pills, while pharmacies will carry out 2.5 million blood pressure tests a year as part of the far-reaching plans.
Measures to ease pressure on GPs will be unveiled today as Rishi Sunak vows to end the 8 a.m. rush to appointments.
In today’s Sun, the Prime Minister writes that post-Covid services have “come under real strain”.
He promises practical steps to relieve doctors and thus hospitals.
The plan is seen as an attempt to reset the Tories after last week’s local election defeat in which the party lost 1,000 council seats.
Pharmacies are given the power to prescribe antibiotics for the first time.
The red tape involved in prescribing simple throat, ear and water infections, sinusitis, infected insect bites and impetigo is taken down before winter.
And patients can self-refer for NHS physiotherapy, podiatry and hearing tests.
Health chiefs are desperate to take the pressure off family doctors, whose struggles with burnout and staff shortages have hurt patient satisfaction.
The Prime Minister says the plans will free up 15 million appointments over the next two years.
Amanda PritchardChief of NHS England, said: “This blueprint will help us free millions of appointments for those who need them most and help staff do less admin and spend more time with patients.”
Thorrun GovindChair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said: “These plans will allow for better access to care.”