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South Staffordshire MP backs plans to use pharmacies to alleviate pressure on GP surgeries but urges caution

South Staffordshire MP Sir Gavin Williamson has backed plans to use pharmacies to alleviate pressure on GP surgeries, but is calling for the plans to be executed safely.

Sir Gavin Williamson with pharmacist James Laycock

Meeting with the owners of family-run Birches Bridge Pharmacy in Codsall, Sir Gavin discussed the impact of government plans which would see a larger role given to pharmacies in the distribution of treatments for common conditions, such as ear pain, sore throats, and skin infections.

The proposals aim to be an invaluable relief to those working in primary care, whom it is hoped will now be able to give more time towards the early detection of serious conditions.

Sir Gavin has lent full support to the proposals, but has recommended caution after speaking with a pharmacist from the independent pharmacy about the possibility for medication sent in the post to fall into the hands of children or animals.

He has elected to share these concerns with the Department for Health and Social Care, so that implementation of the new plans are carried out smoothly and effectively.

Sir Gavin said: “It is really reassuring to see that independent pharmacies which play a vital role within our communities, are ready to support the NHS and local residents by taking on more responsibility with prescriptions.

"I’m confident that local branches will do an excellent job supporting the communities they already serve so well.”

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