Mon 24 Nov 2014

Visit by Secretary of State highlights vital role for community pharmacy in delivering patient care

Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt MP visited a pharmacy in South London today to find out more about what pharmacy teams across the country are doing to maintain and improve the health of the nation.

On his visit to the Mount Elgon Pharmacy in Carshalton, Jeremy Hunt met pharmacist Raj Patel and his team and had a first-hand view of the benefits an NHS Minor Ailment Scheme brings to patients and to local GPs.   

Raj Patel, Pharmacist at Mount Elgon Pharmacy commented:

“The Secretary of State had an NHS Health Check during his visit and being able to demonstrate some of the key services on offer at community pharmacy helps to show how much the sector has to offer. Over 1.6 million people visit a pharmacy every day and there is a great deal more that can be done, maximising this number of contact points to help improve local healthcare delivery.”

Rob Darracott, chief executive of Pharmacy Voice  was on hand to explain how better use of community pharmacy can relieve pressure on other parts of the NHS, especially during winter months.

“If we can help increase the public’s understanding of the services community pharmacy offers we can help can slow the build-up in doctors’ waiting rooms and accident and emergency departments, leaving them free to deal with the patients they need to see. Up to 20% of a GP’s time can be spent dealing with the common ailments such as colds, coughs and hay fever that can be dealt with by a pharmacy. With the right understanding and investment there could be significant benefits across the health service to greater involvement of pharmacy.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

"It was great to see local pharmacy services in action, delivering a wide range of services to their community and working closely with other health services. Pharmacists have an important role to play in looking after people in the community."