Think tanks have recommended that local pharmacies in England should be able to diagnose and treat a wider range of conditions to relieve pressure on general practitioners (GPs). Currently, pharmacies in England are able to treat certain conditions such as shingles, earache, and sinusitis, but a report by The King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust suggests that services should be expanded to include chickenpox and other minor conditions. The report also recommends that pharmacies be able to refer patients directly to hospitals for scans and blood tests, as well as help manage long-term conditions like hypertension and asthma.
The report was submitted to policymakers as suggestions for the future of pharmacist-provided care over the next decade. The King’s Fund’s chief executive, Richard Murray, stated that expanding the role of pharmacies will help them keep more people well and provide support for managing common long-term conditions without always needing a GP visit. However, the report also identified barriers to implementation, including a lack of investment in buildings, IT systems, and staff across primary care, as well as a lack of access to patient data. The report called for more investment in these areas, as well as legislative changes to allow pharmacies to dispense medicine without a pharmacist on site.
The Department of Health and Social Care has pledged to invest £645 million into pharmacies, which would support treatment of seven common conditions, oral contraception, and blood pressure services. However, The King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust argue that this figure must increase in order to realize the potential for expanded pharmacy services. Janet Morrison, chief executive of Community Pharmacy England, which commissioned the report, believes that pharmacies can become “true health and wellbeing hubs” offering a wide range of clinical services and tests for lifestyle factors.
– [Breaking News](https://www.breakingnews.ie/discover/local-pharmacies-in-england-should-be-able-to-offer-more-medical-services-suggest-think-tanks-1053362.html)
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