From today, Mike's constituents will be able to get treatment for several conditions at most local pharmacies without needing to see their GP, helping to unlock ten million doctors’ appointments as we cut waiting lists so people can get the care they need.
The pandemic put huge pressure on the NHS, but we are making good progress on our priority to cut waiting lists, virtually eliminating waits of over two years and cutting 18 month waits by over 90per cent from their peak.
There still is more that can be done to cut waiting lists, including by making better use of health professionals such as pharmacists. That is why the Conservatives are launching Pharmacy First, a £645 million initiative, as part of our primary care recovery plan, meaning pharmacists can treat seven common health conditions such as sinusitis and earache without patients needing to see a GP.
Pharmacy First will:
- Expand pharmacy services
- End the 8am rush to be seen by a GP
- Free up 10 million GP appointments
Pharmacy First is another crucial part of the Conservatives' efforts to improve patient access to primary care, alongside the upgrading of phone lines in GP surgeries by March 2024, and large-scale recruitment of doctors (6,656 in 2022/23) and nurses (20,738 in 2022/23).