Pharmacists call for clearer Pharmacy First messaging from NHS to help patients and reduce abuse on staff


A national media outlet has reported that pharmacy owners and pharmacy staff delivering the Pharmacy First service are calling for clearer NHS communications for the Pharmacy First service, after reports of patients being turned away and abuse aimed at pharmacy staff.

iNews reports that in a month after its launch, pharmacists have shared they’ve experienced aggression from people due to restrictions in place for certain ailments – including patients yelling and throwing items. iNews also reports that although pharmacists are generally positive about the service, they want to see improved messaging over the Pharmacy First service so that the public know exactly what they are entitled to.

We provided iNews with the following statement commending pharmacy teams for their dedication to the service. While we appreciate the positive outcomes for many, we also emphasised the need to address the overwhelming pressures faced by these teams.

Our Chief Executive Janet Morrison said:

“Pharmacies have worked exceptionally hard to train their teams and get the service up and running at an already busy time of year and it’s a credit to them that patients are already seeing the benefits of being able to easily access advice and support and sort out health issues without needing to be sent back to their GPs.

It has also been great to see thousands of people already benefiting from the new Pharmacy First Service, and to hear the positivity from pharmacists who are enjoying using their professional skills to give patients the help they need. But while pharmacy teams are working incredibly hard to offer this service, pharmacies are also fighting for survival in the face of ongoing funding cuts and intolerable operational pressures. Government and the NHS must step in to help: pharmacies can’t provide this service, or any others, if they can’t afford to keep their lights on.”



Patients turned away and pharmacists face abuse under scheme to avoid GP waits | iNews