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NHSE launches multichannel campaign to raise awareness about Pharmacy First service


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People are encouraged to “think pharmacy first” for minor health concerns and get seen by their local pharmacy team before the symptoms get worse.

NHS England on Monday (19 February) unveiled a new multichannel campaign to inform the public about the additional services offered at their local pharmacy under the recently launched Pharmacy First service.

The extended service allows patients to get treatment and medicines from their local pharmacy for seven common conditions, including sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women, without needing to see a GP.

As part of its ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign, NHS England has started running adverts across on-demand TV services, radio, bus stops and billboards as well as social media, encouraging people to use their high street pharmacies for treatment of these common illnesses.

A few pharmacy signs across the country have undergone temporary rebranding to make people aware of the symptoms of conditions such as earache and insect bites.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that the new Pharmacy First approach will make it “quicker, easier, and more convenient” for people to access NHS care for seven common conditions locally.

“Importantly, it will also save people time and hassle to get the straightforward medication they need quickly, because they’ll be no need to call ahead and no need to make an appointment.

“This bold new approach will free up to 10 million GP appointments per year, helping to cut waiting lists and deliver our long-term plan for the NHS,” he added.

According to Primary Care Minister Andrea Leadsom, this campaign aims to ensure that individuals are aware they can seek care for these seven conditions at their local pharmacy.

“I’m grateful to all our hard-working pharmacists for helping to drive this service forward, which will help reduce pressures on GPs and cut waiting lists as part of the government’s long term plan for our NHS,” she said.

Dr Claire Fuller, NHS England medical director for primary care, highlighted the importance of this drive to help people understand the new level of support that pharmacies can offer

Furthermore, she assured that skilled and highly qualified health professionals are delivering “even more excellent support” in local communities.

David Webb, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England, also welcomed the launch of the new campaign stating that it will “ensure more people are aware of the convenient options for clinical advice and treatment at the heart of their local communities.”




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