PATIENTS suffering from a number of common medical conditions no longer need to visit their GP for medication.
It is hoped the measures, which could be introduced across England as early as this winter, will free up millions of GP appointments and improve patient care.
Now patients with several common illnesses can skip the doctor’s appointment and go straight to the pharmacy.
But there are concerns that the plans will simply shift the workload from GPs to pharmacists.
Some of the most common ailments for which Brits can now get medicine direct from pharmacies include:
Pharmacies will also make millions more high blood pressure Control and distribute contraceptives to reduce the number of family doctor appointments.
The changes will also allow them to refer themselves for the NHS physical therapy or hearing tests.
It comes after ministers yesterday pledged an overhaul of receptionists to end the 8am frenzy.
Amanda Pritchard, CEO of NHS England, said: “This 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 Govind, Chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, told The Sun the plan was a “positive” move for patients.
“We look forward to hearing some details and how it will work in practice,” she added.
dr Leyla Hannbeck, of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, said: “More needs to be done to address the funding crisis, workforce challenges and staff challenges drug supply problems which means that more and more pharmacies are unfortunately closing their doors permanently.”