There are currently ‘no plans’ to add to the seven common conditions pharmacies should handle in the place of GPs.
Subject to ‘the IT underpinning the service being complete’, pharmacies can sign up to consult and prescribe under the Pharmacy First scheme from 31 January, new primary care minister Andrea Leadsom said in a written answer this week.
The conditions under which patients will be encouraged to turn to pharmacies instead of GPs are sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women.
Labour MP for Bootle Peter Dowd asked the minister ‘whether she has plans to expand the common conditions service beyond the initial seven conditions outlined in the Government’s Delivery Plan for Recovering Access to Primary Care’.
To which Dame Andrea said: ‘At present, there are no plans to expand the seven conditions.’
Pharmacies can claim an initial fixed payment of £2,000 from this month up to the launch of the service in January, and as part of the scheme, they will also be paid £15 per consultation.
But the Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) has urged the Government to urgently review why pharmacies are paid ‘more than double’ per consultation compared with GPs.
From January next year community pharmacists will be able access and add to patient records currently maintained by GPs and from this month, they are also able to initiate oral contraception.
A version of this article was first published by Pulse’s sister title The Pharmacist