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Patients urged to consult pharmacists not GPs for common ailments

Welsh Government launches its ‘Choose Pharmacy’ campaign

Jo Carlowe

Friday, 04 October 2013

The Welsh Government has this week launched a campaign to encourage patients to consult pharmacies rather than GPs for common ailments.

Welsh Government Health Minister Mark Drakeford launched the “Choose Pharmacy” service, to encourage patients in north Wales and the Rhondda Valleys (Betsi Cadwaladr and Cwm Taf Health Boards) to consult a participating community pharmacy, rather than their GP.

An estimated 18% of GP consultations and 8% of attendances at accident and emergency departments are for conditions that could potentially be self-treated with treatments readily available from pharmacies without the need for a prescription or a visit to the GP.

Patients using Choose Pharmacy will be offered consultations with approved pharmacists. Unlike other minor ailment services Choose Pharmacy has been developed so that all advice and treatment will be provided by a pharmacist and medicines supplied through Choose Pharmacy will be free of charge.  

Commenting on the scheme Welsh Government Health Minister Mark Drakeford said:

"I firmly believe that community pharmacy has an important role to play in promoting the appropriate and responsible use of NHS services and in supporting people to be able to take more responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.”

Roger Walker Chief Pharmaceutical Officer added: “Choose Pharmacy, will help to establish community pharmacy as the first port of call for people seeking health advice and treatment for common ailments and reduce demand for GP appointments.”

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