- The Primary Care Recovery Plan sets out actions that will mean millions of patients will access faster care for their health needs from their local pharmacy and GP surgery.
- The actions set out in the plan are expected to free up around 15 million GP appointments over the next two years for patients who need them most.
- This Conservative Government is delivering on our 5 priorities including cutting NHS waiting lists.
Greg Hands has welcomed the news that Chelsea and Fulham will benefit from the new plan to recover primary care services. The NHS and the government has published a new blueprint on 9 May set out by the Health Secretary in the House of Commons to help recover primary care services, meaning millions of patients will access faster care for their health needs from their local pharmacy. The plan will also end the 8am ‘rush’ for GP appointments, and pharmacists will be able to prescribe medicines for common health conditions, subject to consultation.
For the first time ever, patients who need prescription medication will be able to get it directly from a pharmacy, without a GP appointment, for seven common conditions including earache, sore throat, or urinary tract infections, thanks to government investment of £645 million over two years to expand community pharmacy services.
In a significant new step, up to half a million people a year will be able to self-refer for key services, including physiotherapy, hearing tests, and podiatry, without seeing their GP first.
Almost half a million women will no longer need to speak to a practice nurse or GP to access oral contraception and will instead be able to pop into their local pharmacy for it.
Tens of thousands more people will be at lower risk of a heart attack or stroke, with the NHS more than doubling the number of people able to access blood pressure checks in their local pharmacy – 2.5 million, up from 900,000 carried out last year.
The actions set out in the plan are expected to free up around 15 million GP appointments over the next two years for patients who need them most.
Ending the 8am ‘rush’ for appointments is a key part of the plan, to end patients having to wait on hold only to be told to call back another day for help.
GP teams are already treating record numbers, with half a million more appointments delivered every week compared to pre-pandemic.
Commenting, Greg Hands said:
“It is vital that residents across Chelsea and Fulham have better access to primary care.
The Primary Care Recovery Plan sets out actions that will mean millions of patients, including residents across Chelsea and Fulham, will access faster are for their health needs from their local pharmacy and GP surgery.
This includes tackling the 8am rush, expanding pharmacy services and freeing up 15 million GP appointments over the next two years.
This Conservative Government continues to deliver on our 5 priorities including cutting NHS waiting lists.”