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Go to pharmacist instead of GP

GPs believe one-fifth of patient appointments could be dealt with by a pharmacist without any need to involve them, new research has found.

Almost 90 per cent of 200 GPs surveyed also said workload pressures could be eased if patients consulted a pharmacist about minor health needs instead of making an appointment.

In a parallel survey of 1,000 patients, 84 per cent said seeing a pharmacist instead of their GP for coughs and colds would ease pressure on the NHS. However, 35 per cent said they would prefer to see their GP to ask about possible drug side-effects.

The surveys were conducted by NOP Healthcare and Doctors.net.uk.

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