Community Pharmacist Consultation Service
Our new approach to improve access
We are participating in an approach to improve access for patients to GP appointments. The aim is to direct patients to the most appropriate healthcare professional, which could be a pharmacist!
if your symptoms could be resolved by a booked consultation with the pharmacist instead of the GP, you will be given a same-day referral to a pharmacy of your choice.
We think this is a good thing. Once you see how great your local pharmacist is – they are highly trained and skilled clinicians experienced in treating minor illnesses – we don’t think you’ll look back. This will also help us to free up GP appointments for people with more complex health needs and ensure that everyone gets treated at the right time, by the right healthcare professional.
How it works
When you call the practice, you will be asked about your symptoms by our reception team. They’ll work through a list of triage questions to determine who the best person is to support you. If your minor illness can best be helped by a pharmacist, we'll share your details and symptoms with the pharmacy of your choice for them to contact you and arrange a consultation on the same day, or at a time that suits you.
You may be seen in person in a private consulting room if the pharmacist thinks it appropriate, or your consultation could be carried out via phone or video. You will be asked about your medical history, your symptoms and current medication, in the same way the GP would ask you about them.
Usually, the pharmacist will provide you with advice and where needed can recommend an over-the-counter product to buy if you choose. They will also send details of your consultation back to us for our records.
If the pharmacist feels you need to be seen by a GP, they will advise you to contact us or they will direct you to contact an emergency service if deemed necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
I could already go to a pharmacy, what's new?
This is a new NHS service to help us get patients seen as quickly as possible in a private consultation. This means you'll have the dedicated time for the pharmacist to ask about your medical history, symptoms and medications, in the same way the GP would ask you about them. They will offer advice and can recommend any products as needed, they will also send us details of your consultation back to us for your medical records.
What if I don’t want to see the pharmacist?
We want to ensure that you are offered an appointment with the most appropriate qualified health care professional based on your symptoms. If you have minor illness symptoms that can be treated the same day through a consultation with a qualified community pharmacist, but do not want to accept this referral, you will still be able to have a routine appointment with an appropriate clinician from the surgery at a later date.
What if I get free prescriptions from my GP?
Your pharmacist will provide you with advice on how to treat your symptoms, which may include a medicine or product. Medicines that can be purchased in a pharmacy to treat minor illnesses, are usually inexpensive and would not normally be prescribed by your GP anyway. You are free to choose if you wish to make a purchase or not.
What if the patient is my child?
Children aged over one years are eligible to use this service and can be seen by the pharmacist. Children who are able to make their own decision about their health may be seen unaccompanied.
Why is this a good thing for patients?
Community pharmacies are local, open longer hours than the GP practice and can offer you the same consultation outcome at a time that is more convenient for you.
Patients who have already used the service liked the convenience of having a consultation on the same day, or a day that suited them, at a pharmacy of their choice. 78% of people who had a consultation with a community pharmacist were successfully helped.
Can I choose the pharmacy?
When we refer you, we'll ask you which pharmacy you would like to go to. You can find details on your local pharmacies with the NHS Pharmacy Finder.
To use this service we need to refer you to the pharmacy first, so please don't visit the pharmacy for this specific service if you've not been booked in for an appointment.