Urgent Care

Bring pharmacists into urgent and emergency care. It's a simple way to reduce waiting times, cut costs, and improve patient care.

Many patients see A&E as the quickest way to access the NHS. This puts real strain on emergency departments – and often delays patients from getting the right care.   

We’re calling on the NHS to bring pharmacists into urgent and emergency care. It’s a simple but effective way to improve patient care – and save up to £1.1 billion.

Pharmacists are best-placed to deal with common ailments like coughs, colds and aches. Inside an emergency room, they can respond to these issues quickly.

We’re also campaigning for the NHS to use community pharmacies to provide a common ailment service. And for the NHS to put pharmacists forward as an option for local urgent and emergency care.

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We need your help to bring pharmacists into urgent care.

Professor Nigel Mathers, Honorary Secretary of the Royal College of GPs says:

"Pharmacists are ideally placed to give advice and it is they – rather than GPs – who should be the first port of call for common ailments. Pharmacists can also discuss the various treatments available, many of which will be cheaper than the cost of a prescription."

College of Emergency Medicine President Dr Clifford Mann said:

"Pressure in A&E is a real concern for the NHS and we need the public to help by understanding where they can get the best care for their particular problem. Recognising that patients can use the skills and experience of pharmacists to treat common minor ailments would be an important step in this direction."

National Voices Chief Executive Jeremy Taylor says:

"Too often there’s an assumption that when people turn up at A&E they have made the ‘wrong’ choice and they are blamed for imposing a cost or a burden. However, people make choices based on their understanding and the information available, and how well they judge services to work. Therefore initiatives that highlight how people can get treatment for common ailments in a way that is both effective and easy to access are very welcome."