In a huge vote of confidence for sector, Govt pledges £645m to expand community pharmacy services

As part of a new blueprint for primary care, the government today (May 9) announced an investment of £645 million over two years to expand community pharmacy
services in England.

In a statement, NHS England said: “For the first time ever, patients who need prescription medication will be able to get it directly from a pharmacy, without a
GP appointment, for seven common conditions including earache, sore throat, or urinary tract infections.”

Prime minister Rishi Sunak hopes that the measures will help end the “all-too stressful wait on the end of the phone for patients” by freeing up 15 million slots at
doctors’ surgeries over the next two years.

“We will end the 8am rush and expand the services offered by pharmacies, meaning patients can get their medication quickly and easily,” he said

Almost half a million women will no longer need to speak to a practice nurse or GP to access oral contraception and will instead be able to pop into their local
pharmacy for it, according to the government announcement.

Blood checks for people suffering from moderate risk of heart attack or stroke conducted in community pharmacies will more than double from 900,000 last year to
2.5 million next year.

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said the “ambitious package” would help transform how care is provided within the health service “with pharmacies playing a
central role in managing the nation’s health including providing lifesaving checks and medication for common conditions for the first time.