- Students will no longer need to apply for temporary residence with term time GP.
- Should lower GP waiting lists.
Prescriptions for seven illnesses will now be available directly through Pharmacies.
This means that students will be able to avoid going to their GP at home during term time in order to access prescriptions for less severe illnesses.
The Pharmacy First scheme will allow most chemists to provide medicine for sore throats and UTIs (among others) without direct referral.
It is estimated that this will save GP surgeries 10 million appointments per year.
“I won’t have to ignore my symptoms anymore. During term time, I used to go home for my GP appointments, but now I won’t have to”
“I won’t have to ignore my symptoms anymore” said one student I spoke to. “I used to go home for my GP appointments, but now I won’t have to.”
However, with recent chemist closures, there is a concern about funding, especially areas like those that surround LSBU.
I spoke to a pharmacist, who requested to remain anonymous, and he highlighted that, “it’s probably great news for patients, but we’re concerned about the cost.”
“We’re worried that the extra funding might not be able to cover all the extra costs involved.”
Every pharmacy that signed up for the scheme has already received £2000, with an extra £15 per consultation plus £1,000 a month if they see a minimum number of patients.
Chief executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIM), Dr Leyla Hannbeck, welcomed the scheme but said that without greater funding, “more pharmacies will shut their doors for good and more workload will be transferred to remaining pharmacies”.
However, this scheme holds the potential to “streamline” the healthcare of students, reduce GP waiting lists and NHS England told the BBC that £645m was being invested in expanding services offered by pharmacies.
What can pharmacists prescribe medicines for now?
- Sore throat
- Infected insect bites
- Uncomplicated UTIs in women