Andrew Griffith MP celebrates new local pharmacy treatments

Andrew Griffith, Member of Parliament for Arundel & South Downs, has welcomed the Government’s new plan to allow pharmacists to treat more health conditions without seeing a GP.
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As part of the Government’s aim to reduce NHS waiting lists and improve healthcare provision, the new plan, known as ‘Pharmacy First’ will allow patients to visit West Sussex pharmacies to receive treatment for the most common illnesses.

Their pharmacist will be able to help with conditions include sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women. Following the assessment, the pharmacist can then supply the prescription only medicines, including antibiotics and antivirals to treat the problem.

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The Government it expects that the plan will free up 10 million GP appointments a year.

Arundel & South Downs MP, Andrew Griffith, at Arundel PharmacyArundel & South Downs MP, Andrew Griffith, at Arundel Pharmacy
Arundel & South Downs MP, Andrew Griffith, at Arundel Pharmacy

Commenting on the plan, Andrew Griffith MP said: “Easily accessing healthcare, especially in rural areas like ours, is one of the most important issues in our community. That’s why I’ve been campaigning to expand pharmacy services across West Sussex and this plan will make a real difference.

For those who need help with the most common illnesses, these new services will make life much easier and will free up further GP appointments for those that really need them.

The Government are also upgrading phone lines in all GP surgeries by March 2024, making it easier to get an appointment and helping to end the 8am rush – and whilst this will represent a genuine transformation for our local healthcare services, I will keep campaigning for further improvements for our local communities.”

Health and Social Care Secretary, Victoria Atkins MP said:

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“I’m determined to deliver faster, simpler, fairer access to care for patients, and the expansion of Pharmacy First will mean patients can get treatment for common conditions without needing to see their GP first.

“This is good news for patients and good news for the NHS. It will free up millions of GP appointments per year and mean that patients can get quick and effective treatment from their local pharmacy.

“As four in five people live within a 20-minute walk of a pharmacy, for many seeing their local pharmacist will be the easiest option – so this initiative will have real benefits for patients and help cut NHS waiting lists.”