Lucy Frazer MP has welcomed the Government’s new ‘Pharmacy First’ approach, which will release community pharmacies across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to treat common health conditions without patients needing to see a GP.

Figures show 95 per cent of pharmacies across England have opted-in so far, including 135 pharmacies in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, enabling pharmacists to utilise more of their medical skills and training.

This will mean that patients the county can receive treatment for seven common health conditions from their local pharmacy without the need to visit a GP or have a prescription.

Pharmacists will be able to help with conditions including sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women.

Following the assessment, the pharmacist can then supply the prescription-only medicines, including antibiotics and antivirals, to treat the problem.

The plan is backed by up to £645 million and is set to free up to 10 million GP appointments nationally per year.

The Pharmacy First approach builds on the other measures outlined in the Primary Care Recovery Plan last spring, including tackling the 8am rush by funding new digital tools for GPs – to the tune of £240 million – and providing more GP staff and more appointments.

Commenting, Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire,  said: “The pandemic put huge pressure on our NHS services and as we continue with our recovery, it is essential that patients receive the care they need quickly and easily.

“That is why I am delighted that pharmacies have adopted launched the Government’s Pharmacy First approach, using the skills of our pharmacists to treat more people in the community without the need for a GP appointment – speeding up their own care as well as reducing pressure on local GP services.”