Lewes MP Maria Caulfield has welcomed the move to a Pharmacy First model for those in need of medical advice rather than going direct to a GP or A&E.

This model, which is used in many other parts of Europe, sees Pharmacists managing a number of minor ailments and medication queries for patients as a first point of contact. The community pharmacist consultation service (CPCS),  was introduced in October 2019, and since the scheme started 114,275 patients with minor illnesses or who needed medicines were referred to a local pharmacist. This enables people to get the help they need quickly whilst freeing up GP appointments for those more in need of them, and keeping people out of A&E who do not need to go.

Maria Caulfield MP said “The role of pharmacists is an important part of the NHS Long Term Plan, and I am encouraging local residents to make better use of their clinical expertise closer to home. Pharmacists are highly skilled health professionals who have five years of training, giving them expert knowledge on how to use medicines to support patients. Residents can keep the help and advice that they need often quicker than seeing their GP while leaving appointments or A&E spaces for those more in need.”

“If in any doubt about where to seek medical help NHS 111 can direct people to the appropriate resources, including arranging contact with local GPs, and in emergencies residents should always call 999 or go to A&E.”