Managing Director of Celesio UK Cormac Tobin has called on the pharmacy minister to "put his money where his mouth is" and take the common sense step of launching a national minor ailments scheme.
In a statement, Mr Tobin advised David Mowat that community pharmacy was "hiding in plain sight to help solve the hospital crisis". He continued: “It’s clear that, with the first real cold snap of winter about to strike, our health service is at breaking point with A & E departments swamped and patients waiting hours to be treated. It seems just a matter of common sense that if pharmacists help deal with minor ailments they can free up slots for doctors to deal with the more serious cases, thereby releasing capacity in hospitals."
In a parliamentary debate yesterday Mr Mowat acknowledged the benefit in diverting some patients away from GPs and towards pharmacists. "But we are yet to see him put his money where his mouth is and we only have vague promises and pilots about a national minor ailments service for England.”
Mr Tobin issued this advice to patients: "Heed the advice of the Stay Well this Winter campaign; seek immediate advice and help from a pharmacist as soon as you feel unwell, before your condition gets more serious."
And this advice to Mr Mowat: "Commission a national minor ailments service from community pharmacy now, before it’s too late to make a difference.'