Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England
For nine out of ten people who contact the NHS every day, their local GP surgery is the first port of call.
As head of the NHS, I have the enormous privilege of meeting and speaking to patients and families across the country.
I constantly hear how vital these services are to them and their communities, providing care from the cradle to the grave. And as a patient and parent, I know this personally.
GPs and their teams already treat half a million more people a week than before the pandemic. But with record numbers of people seeking care in your office (and an aging population), we know more action is needed to ensure people can receive the right care when they need it.
So, just as the NHS has done throughout its 75-year history, we continue to innovate to ensure primary care is fit for the future. That means expanding capacity in primary care, with pharmacists in your core area set to play an even bigger role in keeping you and your families well.
For the first time, pharmacies will be able to prescribe medications for seven common conditions, such as earache, sore throat or shingles, offering faster, more convenient care to patients at their doorstep.
Women will also be able to go to their high street pharmacy to be prescribed the contraceptive pill instead of having to book an appointment with their GP.
For the first time, pharmacies will be able to prescribe medicines for seven common conditions, such as earache, sore throat or shingles, offering patients faster, more convenient care at their door, writes NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard.
The NHS will almost triple the number of blood pressure checks available in pharmacies. Our plan means 2.5 million tests will be carried out on high streets, helping to identify up to 76,000 people at increased risk of a heart attack or stroke, and ensuring they are prescribed preventive treatments.
All of this means millions of GP appointments will be freed up for those who need them most.
Our ambitious plan also pledges to end the “8am rush” for appointments, which can be a source of frustration for patients.
GP surgeries will see investment to install state-of-the-art telephone systems and staff will receive additional training so they can assess your needs and help you.
Those who need to see a family doctor will have a quicker appointment, while patients with needs that can be met better and more quickly by other professionals, such as pharmacists, physiotherapists, mental health therapists or specialist nurses, will be able to skip the appointment. the need to see a GP first.
Up to half a million people a year will be able to be referred for key services such as hearing tests or podiatry, and there will be better support for people to manage their own health as nine in ten people will be able to see their GP records. , including test results, on their smartphones over the next year.
This new push to improve access will not be the full answer – we know we need more GPs and other professionals, and we continue to work with the government to publish a long-term workforce plan.
But we are confident that our plans will give people in all parts of England even greater and more convenient access to expert care in their communities, and free up GPs to deliver improved care to the people who need it most. .