Pharmacists to provide prescription only medicines for four common conditions

  • 21 July 2020


pharmacist and girl with mother

Community pharmacists in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire will be able to provide prescription only medicines to people with certain conditions as part of a new service.

Medicines used to treat Urinary Tract Infections, toddler conjunctivitis, impetigo and mild dermatitis or eczema usually require a prescription from a doctor. However, under the new service, some residents can now be assessed and have medicines supplied directly by a pharmacist.

GPs in the area issued more than 30,000 prescriptions for medicines to treat Urinary Tract Infections, impetigo and toddler eye infections between July 2018 – July 2019, and the new service is expected to help make access to the right treatment quicker and easier for these patients.

Doctors and pharmacists across the area have now joined together to ask local people to visit their pharmacist first for these common conditions.

Dr Shaba Nabi, local GP and Clinical Lead for Prescribing at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), explains more about the new service:

The new service means patients can be clinically assessed and have appropriate medicine provided at their local pharmacy, saving time and avoiding a trip to the GP.

We have been working closely with local pharmacies and providing training on assessment for several conditions. We are delighted that 90 community pharmacies in the area are now ready to provide this service, and we expected the service to be available in every pharmacy in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire in the coming months.

We are confident the new scheme will mean quicker access to the right treatment and will help GPs to spend more time with our patients.

Richard Brown, Chief Officer at Avon Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said:

We’re really proud that community pharmacists across the area are now able to offer appropriate clinical assessment and prescribe medication for these conditions. We would encourage local people to see their pharmacist first if they think they have one of these conditions, to get the right treatment more quickly and help save time for NHS staff.

The ability to clinically assess and prescribe these medicines adds to the expert advice and treatment a pharmacist can provide for a range of common conditions. Your pharmacist can usually be seen much more quickly than a GP, and can also provide confidential advice about which NHS service is right for your needs.

At a time when many people are still limiting the time they spend outside of their homes, please rest assured that pharmacy staff have worked hard to ensure appropriate protective measures are in place to guard against the spread of coronavirus, and we are still here to provide the treatment you need.

Who can pharmacists provide prescription medication to under the new scheme?

  • Urinary Tract Infection medication for women aged between 16-64 years old.
  • Impetigo medication for adults and children over 2 years old.
  • Conjunctivitis medication for adults and children over 31 days old.
  • Eczema and dermatitis medication for adults and children over 1 year old.

If you are exempt from prescription charges then you will usually continue to receive these medicines for free. Ask your pharmacist for more details. Those who normally pay a prescription fee of £9.15 will continue to be charged this same fee when being prescribed medicine through a pharmacist.

More information on the services a pharmacist can offer is available on our pharmacy page.