The Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB) believes that by enabling community pharmacists to refer patients straight to a GP and other healthcare professionals, it will enhance their role in the NHS. Currently, pharmacists can only refer patients to the A&E, a GP or a GP out of hour’s service if the patient is referred to the pharmacy via the new community pharmacy consultation service. However, patients who self-present at a pharmacy cannot be referred to other NHS support.
“The PAGB believes that by enabling community pharmacists to refer patients straight to a GP and other healthcare professionals, it will enhance their role in the NHS.“
This year’s PAGB report, ‘Overcoming the barriers to self-care’, stated: “This inconsistency should be addressed to allow pharmacists to refer any person presenting with symptoms that require escalation, thereby strengthening the role pharmacists can play in the care pathway as the front door to the NHS. At the moment, GP surgeries hold back a small number of appointments each day for urgent referrals from the NHS 111 service, and a similar approach could be employed to ensure there is capacity for GPs to see urgent referrals that have been triaged/identified by the community pharmacist.”