We are excited to be sharing with you that we will be participating in a new approach to improving access for patients. If your symptoms could be resolved by a consultation with the pharmacist instead of the GP, you will be given a same-day referral to a pharmacy of your choice. The aim is to direct patients to the most appropriate healthcare professional, which may be a GP or a pharmacist. We think this is a positive step for both us and you as a patient. 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.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is this new service about?
From 12 July 21 , when you send in an econsult a Clinican will look at what symptons are present and if they indicate that you can best be helped by a pharmacist, you will be offered a same day private consultation with a local community pharmacist of your choosing. Community pharmacists have already successfully seen thousands of patients for a consultation for a minor illness, following a call to NHS 111. This new way of arranging
consultations with the pharmacist by a GP practice, has been successfully piloted around
Why are you doing this?
Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals and experts in medicines. They can
offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for all sorts of minor illnesses, and a
same day consultation can be arranged quickly and at a time to suit you. This in turns frees up GP appointments for those people with more complex symptoms
who really need to see a GP.
What happens when I see the community pharmacist?
We will share your personal details with the pharmacist and details of your minor illness
and the pharmacist will contact you to arrange your 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 may be carried out over the phone or via video. You will be asked about your medical history and symptoms and current medication, in the same way the GP would ask you about them. Usually, the pharmacist will provide you with advice and can sell you with an over the counter product where needed, 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 urgently, they will call us to ensure
you are seen, or they will advise you to contact the hospital Emergency Department if
deemed necessary. You may also be referred back to us to arrange a non-urgent
appointment or follow up.
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 happens 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 you do not have to accept this referral.
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
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. If the
pharmacist thinks you need to see the GP, they can help arrange an urgent appointment
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