Forth Valley Pharmacies provide swift healthcare advice and treatment

Community pharmacies across Forth Valley have provided more than 100,000 patient consultations since January 2021, helping to relieve pressure on local GP and hospital services.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 6:00 am
The NHS Pharmacy First scheme was initially introduced in Forth Valley in 2016.

The NHS Scotland Pharmacy First service provides free access to a consultation with an appropriately qualified member of the pharmacy team who is able to provide healthcare advice, treatment and refer people to another part of the NHS, if necessary.

Pharmacists can also treat certain conditions, such as urinary tract infections, shingles and impetigo, without the need for a prescription or to see a doctor.

This is part of a co-ordinated series of measures to improve patient care and help reduce demand on Emergency Departments.

Forth Valley Community Pharmacists have provided 114,938 consultations since January 2021 for people who would otherwise have gone to GP surgeries or the Emergency Department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

Only around four per cent of people needed to be referred on to another healthcare professional, such as a GP, nurse or hospital-based clinician. The majority were given advice or treatment by their local pharmacy team.

Kirstin Cassells, NHS Forth Valley’s Lead Pharmacist for Community Pharmacy, Public Health and Integrated Services, said: “Community pharmacists across Forth Valley are playing a fantastic role in ensuring that thousands of people with common health conditions have needs addressed quickly, without needing to go to a GP or hospital.”

She added: "They are a prime example of getting the right care, in the right place, at the right time and local pharmacists will play an important role in providing expert healthcare advice and treatment over the busy winter period.”