Upload a photo Upload a video Upload an mp3 Upload an event


New Scheme Aims To Free Up GP Time

Wednesday January 29 2014

GP waiting times could be reduced GP waiting times could be reduced

A NEW service has been launched in Barnsley to help reduce the strain on doctors and minimise waiting times.

NHS Barnsley's Clinical Commissioning Group has launched the free Pharmacyfirst scheme - which will give advice and medicines for treating minor illnesses and ailments.

It comes after research showed that 40 per cent of a GP's time is taken up dealing with minor conditions like coughs and colds, head lice, heartburn, eczema and dermatitis - that could be dealt with by a pharmacist.

Dr Nick Balac, chair of Barnsley CCG, said: "Pharmacyfirst means that patients can now go straight to a pharmacist as their first port of call.

"This will free up GP time for dealing with more complex conditions, and may also decrease waiting times for appointments for those that really need them."

What do you think? Have you tried Pharmacyfirst yet? Have your say below.

Leave a comment
comments powered by Disqus
27 Showing 27 comments

Reply Posted by Jan on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:06
I wouldnt use my pharmacy they give out too much personal information over the counter as it is when there are other people waiting.

Reply Posted by its me on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:09
Why would people go to the pharmacy and pay for something when so many people get free prescriptions?

Reply Posted by rach on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:09
In boots you ask to speak to them and there is a private room. If thats busy they take you to one side away from other people. I would gladly use the service :)

Reply Posted by kerry on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:09
It suprises me that people don't know to try pharmacy first anyway. You can request a private consultation in a private room Jan

Reply Posted by Jan on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:22
Our pharmacy is very small. I agree with one of the other comments though, why pay for something you can get free on prescription, especially children

Reply Posted by Anon on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:09
What, so doctors can feel more like Demi Gods and help them be even more self important than they think they are??

Recently I asked to obtain my child's health records and they simply said "no" without any reason given whatsoever. I've had to go to the GMC, BMA and NHS Direct and discovered that Huddersfield Road Surgery were in fact WRONG to prevent me from having sight of her records. No apology, no reason given for denying me. Self important, heartless and cruel.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 19:14
Did they ask you to pay for the records?
They usually do, especially if you intend to use the info held on your records for claiming benefits.

Just saying like.

Reply Posted by anon on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 20:43
Originally they point blank refused, until I threatened to inform the Health Services Ombudsman. Now they are insisting on me paying the maximum of £10 for a few sheets of paper. Its criminal.

Reply Posted by kerry on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:11
Good point its me. That will be why

Reply Posted by valeri white on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:15
Most of the above list colds etc can be dealt with by using a bit of common sense

Reply Posted by Katy on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:15
Unfortunately the pharmacy will not be able to dispense treatment for free; sadly the minor ailments filling the GP surgery 's usually belong to people who are entitled to free prescriptions be that due to their age, certain types of illness or being on benefits. This cost issue will prevent the vast majority from changing their GP usage.

Reply Posted by xxx on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:22
If you don't pay for prescriptions then treatment given via this scheme is free also.

Reply Posted by @valerie white on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:23
@ Valerie White, common sense would of course be preferable.....if people actually had any common sense.

Reply Posted by Katie on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:30
Anybody who is exempt from paying for prescriptions can get certain meds (they have a list) free of charge from the pharmacy.

Reply Posted by Dee on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 13:12
So I could just walk in boots and get items for my 12&13yo free without a prescription if I ask there advise?

Reply Posted by Katy on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:36
Hmmm well I did not know that Katie maybe that is the essential piece of information that needs publicising to actually make a difference

Reply Posted by kathleen gorman on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:44
I used the pharmacy last week. I'm receiving pension, but I certainly didn't mind paying the £3 . I believe that , had my complaint been more serious and required more medication, the pharmacy would have recommended the docs.

Reply Posted by Brent on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 10:54
I am a pensioner but me and my husband always try pharmacy first. Unless of course we feel it needs a Drs opinion.

Reply Posted by c on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 13:27
If you get your prescriptions free, you will still get free at a chemist who provides this service. You just take along your proof of Benefit/low income.

Reply Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 14:04
I don't think this will help at all as soon as you go to pharmacist first they advise you to go see a doctor as they want to cover their backs which is understandable but doesn't help x

Reply Posted by NHS Barnsley CCG on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 15:18
Hi everyone, thought it might be worth posting a link to our website that has all the details, as lots of you have posted questions. If you visit www.barnsleyccg.nhs.uk and search for pharmacy first it gives you the details. Plus your GP practice and local pharmacy should have leaflets explaining everything. Hope that helps.

Reply Posted by Chris on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 17:58
Thank you....very helpful

Reply Posted by Crox on Thursday January 30 2014 at 09:17
What Barnsley needs is the reintroduction of a walk in service like there used to be at Gateway Plaza. For that service to be removed because it was too popular speaks volumes and makes the decision to stop it even more ridiculous.

Reply Posted by Adele on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 20:32
Good idea, I have had to take my 3 year old to the go to docs more times than I can remember for minor ailments as the pharmacist wouldn't give me the medicine before she had seen a doc due to her age, eczema being one of them! if the pharmacist can now do this it would be a lot easier and less time consuming for me as well as the GP :)

Reply Posted by Von on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 21:49
If it's going to free up the GP's time and reduce waiting times, then i'm all for it. Well done Dr Balac and colleagues. It's a fantastic idea.

Reply Posted by Pharmacy Worker on Wednesday January 29 2014 at 21:53
So much Critisism for the pharmacy . . . What most people don't understand is we also have rules to follow and there are laws and age restrictions on medicines and things. If you treat a 'minor aliment' and then go back to a pharmacy as the treatment did now work it's no longer minor and needs a GP. However if it does work, GP time saved. If you don't pay for scripts it's free if you do pay it may still be cheaper than a script free. Pharmacies have private areas so if there are people also waiting you just ask for a private word and then you will be taken out of the way.

Reply Posted by Anon on Friday January 31 2014 at 04:32
I tried to use this service for something that it says on the list I could get from them rather than see the doctor for but they sent me away saying the item wasn't available on the service when I knew it was

ipso Regulated