Pharmacists ‘to be given right to prescribe so GPs have more time with patients’

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Pharmacists will be given the right to write prescriptions under plans reportedly being considered by Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

Mr Javid last month vowed the Government will “do a lot more” to ensure GPs see more patients face-to-face following complaints from the public.

The proposals would see more prescriptions provided through pharmacies and hospitals for routine illnesses to allow doctors more time to see patients in person, according to The Sunday Times.

GPs will also reportedly be able to pass off bureaucratic processes such as providing supporting medical evidence to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency over a patient’s fitness to drive.

The plans are expected to include sanctions for doctors who do not increase the number of face-to-face appointments with patients, the paper added.

GPs have come under fire in recent weeks for not offering enough face-to-face appointments for patients, with ministers saying the Government would urge them to do so.

In his speech to the Tory Party Conference on Tuesday Mr Javid reiterated that people expected “to be able to see their GP, in the way that they choose”.

In August 2020 the Royal Pharmaceutical Society called for pharmacists to be given powers to change prescriptions that would reduce delays which they say are a “waste of everyone’s time”.

The society proposed amendments to allow pharmacists to make changes to the quantities, strength and formulation dispensed, and supply another generic version of a medicine on a prescription, without having to contact the prescriber every time.

It was argued this would speed up access to medicines for patients, reduce the workload of GPs and give pharmacists more face-to-face time with patients.

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