NHS pharmacies across Herefordshire and Worcestershire have rolled out expanded services for a range of common ailments.

More than 90 per cent of community pharmacies are participating in the initiative from today, allowing patients to receive treatments without the need for a GP visit or prescription.

Highly qualified pharmacists can now diagnose and treat conditions such as sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, coupled with uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women under 65.


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NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire’s Pharmacy lead, Alison Rogers, said: "This new service will make it so much easier for people to access the healthcare advice and support they need, when they need it.

"Pharmacists are medicines experts and members of the public should feel assured that the healthcare advice they receive from pharmacists and their teams will be second to none.

"With all the pressures across the NHS, it's everyone's responsibility to direct requests for help to the right place.

"I am delighted that over 90 per cent of our Herefordshire and Worcestershire NHS community pharmacies have already signed up to deliver this new service so for common illnesses, we should all be thinking "Pharmacy First"."

The new system is part of a broader expansion of healthcare services, and aims to use pharmacists' skills more effectively while providing the public with more healthcare choices.

There are plans to include more conditions in the future to expand the services even further.

The scheme is a part of the NHS and Government's primary care access recovery plan, promising to simplify healthcare access for millions.

It harks back to the successful expansion of contraceptive pill services in December 2023, along with blood pressure tests earlier in the year.

For details and to locate the new service at a nearby pharmacy, consult the NHS website: Pharmacies - NHS (www.nhs.uk).