Therese Coffey has announced that patients could be able to get some prescription drugs without visiting a GP. The change is part of the health secretary’s new NHS plan, which she revealed in the House of Commons yesterday, September 22, reports Birmingham Live.
She said: “To help free up appointments, we will ease pressures on GP practices by expanding the role of community pharmacies.
“I’m pleased to announce that today we have agreed a deal for an expanded offer over the next 18 months.
“Pharmacists will be able to prescribe certain medications rather than requiring a GP prescription.
“As well as other measures involving community pharmacists, we estimate that this will free up two million appointments.”
“My priorities are patients’ priorities and I will endeavour to level up care and match expectations that the public rightly has,” she added.
Amanda Pritchard, NHS England chief executive, said: “I know how much patients value timely, convenient access to GPs and primary care, the front door to the NHS, which is why we are continuing to drive improvements, including new roles to better meet patients’ needs and new tech to make contacting your local surgery easier.
“NHS staff are working incredibly hard to deliver record numbers of GP appointments for patients, with 11 million more this year so far than the same period last year, and more than four in five people who need an appointment seen within two weeks, including more than two-fifths within one day.
“We will work with the Government so we can support NHS staff to deliver these new ambitions for patients, underpinned by the development of a long-term workforce plan.”
Therese Coffey was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care by Liz Truss on September 6.