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Patients with minor illnesses will be sent to a pharmacist the same day instead of their GP in a bid to relieve pressure on the NHS.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he wants pharmacists to play a 'stronger role' in healthcare and help people get over common illnesses.
Earache - Sore - Throat - Example - Pharmacy
Those with an earache or sore throat, for example, could be directed to their local pharmacy if they call 111, instead of going to a proper medical centre or hospital.
There, the pharmacist can advise them how to get over their illness, give them over-the-counter medicine or refer them to a doctor if they think it's necessary.
Move - Pressures - GP - Practices - Droves
The move comes amid huge pressures on GP practices, which are shutting down in droves, and A&E departments which regularly fail to hit waiting time targets.
'Pharmacists are integral to community health and I want to move towards the French model, where they offer a wider range of services and play a stronger role in the community,' Mr Hancock said.
Day - People - Community - Pharmacies - England
'Every day more than a million people use our community pharmacies in England.
'We want to support our incredible pharmacists to unlock their full potential, helping them offer more health advice and support more patients as part of our long term plan for the NHS.'
Pharmacists - Experts - Medicine - Years - Masters
Pharmacists are experts in medicine and have to spend four years studying for a masters degree as well as working under supervision for their first year in the field.
They advise doctors and nurses on which medicines to use and can help patients to manage long-term illnesses or deal with those treatable with shop-bought drugs.
Rules - People - Phone - NHS - Helpline
Under new rules, people who phone the NHS 111 helpline may be given a same-day appointment with their pharmacist.
Only common and relatively minor symptoms would be included in the scheme, such as foot or hand pain, constipation, diarrhoea, headaches or insect bites.
The patient would...
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