Improving Care though closer working with Community Pharmacists




We are excited to let you know that we have been working to improve how we manage appointments in the Practice; our aim is to direct patients to the most appropriate healthcare professional, which may be a GP, a different Healthcare Professional (HCP) and in some cases a Community Pharmacist.

Referrals to Community Pharmacist, who are highly qualified HCPs in their own right, are covered by an initiative called the Community Pharmacist Referral Scheme.

We have tested this system and from 31.7.23 we will be asking our Patient Advisers who answer the phone to ask a few questions to check if your symptoms could be resolved by a booked consultation with the pharmacist instead of the GP, you will be given a same-day or the following morning if you are calling late in the afternoon referral to a pharmacy of your choice.

We are viewing this as an extension to our services, just more geographically convenient for you; additionally it will also help us to prioritise GP appointments for people with more complex health needs and ensure that everyone gets treated at the right time, by the right Healthcare Professional.

We think this is a good thing. Once you see how great your local pharmacist is – they are highly trained and skilled clinicians experienced in treating minor illnesses – we don’t think you’ll look back.

We are keen to hear what you think and will be listening to your comments and feedback about your experience of using this service. There have been national information campaigns by the NHS and there is lots of information on the web if you would like to know more.


What is this service about?

Community pharmacists have already successfully seen thousands of patients for a consultation for a minor illness, following a call to NHS 111. This new way of arranging consultations with the pharmacist by a GP practice, has been successfully used around the county.


Why are we doing this?

Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals and experts in medicines with five years of training. They can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for all sorts of minor illnesses, and a same day consultation can be arranged quickly and at a time to suit you.

This in turns frees up GP appointments for those people with more complex symptoms who really need to see a GP


What will happen?

When you call or submit an e-consult one of our trained Patient Advisers will listen to or review your reasons for needing an appointment and using national guidance and specific training will ask you questions to identify if a Pharmacist referral is appropriate.

If it is, they will complete a referral form and send that to the pharmacy that is most convenient to you, in most cases the pharmacist will call you to arrange your consultation, if they prefer you to call and book our PAs will advise you.

Once you have attended your consultation the Pharmacist will email the Practice and provide an outcome of the consultation.

We believe the use of this initiative will further help patients get the care they need as soon as possible.

Published: Jul 24, 2023