Healthcare hits the High Street, with rollout of enhanced pharmacy services   

Millions of people across London can now access direct treatment for seven common health conditions at their local pharmacy, without needing a GP appointment or prescription.   

NHS London today announces that thousands of highly trained pharmacists across London will be now able to assess and treat patients for seven common conditions, bringing more healthcare to the high street and alleviating pressure on GP services. 

Rather than needing a GP appointment or prescription, people across London will now be able to visit their local pharmacist to access treatment for sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bites, impetigo, shingles and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women under 65.   

These services will be available at pharmacies across the capital, with more than 90% of NHS community pharmacies in London – 1637 in total – offering the ground-breaking initiative. The major expansion of pharmacy services will give the public more choice in where and how they access care, and it aims to free up more than 1 million GP appointments a year in London.  

Community pharmacies in London already play a vital role in keeping their local communities healthy and well, with over 30,000 people supported each month when they start new medicines, and over 200,000 blood pressure checks taking place over the last year allowing those with high blood pressure to be identified and referred for onward management.  

Commenting on today’s announcement, Tony Carson, Pharmacy Integration Lead for NHS London said:  

“The roll-out of expanded services via London’s pharmacies is not only testament to the evolving role of pharmacists in public health but also a step toward making healthcare more accessible and efficient for communities across London.   

“This is great news for the public – from today you can pop into one of more than 1600 high street NHS pharmacies in London to get assessed and treated for seven common conditions at a convenient time, with many pharmacies open late into the evening.”  

The expansion of services available via pharmacies is part of the NHS and government’s primary care access recovery plan, which is committed to making it quicker and easier for millions of people to access healthcare on their high street.  

Dr Agatha Nortley-Meshe, Medical Director for Primary Care at NHS London said:  

“This is a fantastic step towards enhancing healthcare accessibility for people in London. As we all navigate our increasingly busy lives, it’s crucial to have diverse options for accessing healthcare services. This initiative will not only provide the public with more flexibility but also alleviate pressure on our dedicated GPs, aiming to free up over 1 million additional GP appointments for those who need them most.”  

Raj Matharu who runs a family-owned community pharmacy in southeast London, said:  

“I’m thrilled about the profound impact this will have on the local communities we serve. By assessing and treating common conditions, we can offer faster and easier access to healthcare right here on the high street.  

“The expansion of pharmacy services will also allow GPs to refer common conditions to community pharmacy teams which will reduce pressures, and by working together, make access to healthcare more convenient.”