These plans suggest that the public should use pharmacists as much as possible for minor ailments before going to other agencies. How do people decide where to get help with so many conflicting messages being broadcast?
We recognise this is a challenge. As we co-develop our plans with patients and the public, we will need to develop a clear plan to communicate where people should go to get care in different situations, and how they can better look after themselves when appropriate. We are revamping the 111 telephone service to support this and we will work with patient groups to develop much better information about where to get help when.
Pharmacists are experts in medicine and many pharmacies now have consulting rooms: we do need to do more to communicate the role pharmacists can play in supporting patients and carers