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  1. Any posters here who are pharmacists or work in healthcare? Surely the government is wrongly encouraging pharmacists to take responsibilities they are not trained nor insured for. A sign the NHS is sinking? https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/feb/12/nhs-urges-parents-to-use-pharmacies-for-childrens-illnesses A health campaign is urging parents to treat their pharmacist as their first port of call for their children’s minor illnesses instead of visiting their GP or A&E. NHS England said there were 18m GP appointments and 2.1m visits to A&E for self-treatable conditions every year, at a cost of £850m to the health service. Millions of parents could get more convenient and timely expert advice by taking their concerns to their local pharmacist first, which would also ease pressure on GPs and emergency services, the campaign will say. NHS England said research showed that only 6% of parents with children under the age of five would consider seeking help about a minor health concern from a high street pharmacist in the first instance. This despite 79% of adults saying they were aware that pharmacists were qualified healthcare professionals who could give advice on most common illnesses. NHS England says about 95% of people live within walking distance of a community pharmacy, meaning they are an accessible and valuable first port of call for minor health concerns such as coughs, colds and teething troubles. The NHS is working with pharmacies to increase the range of patient services they provide, including asthma audits and flu vaccinations. Figures released from a pilot study last week showed that more than 1,200 patients who called NHS 111 over the winter had been seen by pharmacists instead of GPs or being sent to A&E. The six-month trial in the north-east of the country allows NHS 111 operators to refer appropriate non-emergency patients to community pharmacies during late-night, weekend and out-of-hours periods.
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