WOMEN will be able to get the Pill free on the NHS from a pharmacy without a prescription from next month.
Plus antibiotics for common conditions will be issued in the high street shops in the New Year.
It is hoped slashing NHS red tape to let pharmacists treat common ailments will save an estimated 10million GP appointments per year.
The plans were announced in May this year and come into effect within weeks.
NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “It is essential we use the skills and convenience of community pharmacies to make it as easy as possible for people to get the help they need.”
More than seven million contraceptive pill prescriptions are dished out in England every year.
Read more on the NHS
NHS will 'eliminate cervical cancer by 2040' as jab set to wipe out killer virus
Urgent warning as bowel cancer surges to become UK's third most common cancer
From December women will no longer need to see a GP to get their free supply.
And from January, medication for sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bites, impetigo, shingles, and urine infections will also be available without a doctor’s note.
Pharmacists will also ramp up high street blood pressure checks to carry out 2.5million per year by 2025.
Janet Morrison, chief of Community Pharmacy England, said: “It makes perfect sense to use community pharmacies as a first port of call for healthcare advice, access to contraception and health checks such as blood pressure tests.
Most read in Health
I thought the afterlife was hogwash then a patient described the saw used on her
Man goes through menopause after DIY poo transplants from mum ‘cured’ his Crohn’s
The 4 ways laughing can kill you – from exploding aneurysm to asphyxiation
Mum issues warning after chickenpox left girl, 5, battling flesh-eating bug
“Local pharmacies are staffed by highly qualified healthcare professionals and these new services will help patients and the public, as well as reducing pressure on GPs and the NHS.”
Seb James, managing director of Boots, which will run the NHS services in its stores, said: “We welcome the plans to launch new contraception and minor ailments services in England.
“They will make life easier for patients to access the care and medicines they need quickly and help reduce GP wait lists.”
Source: Read Full Article