Hundreds of residents in the Isle of Wight are receiving quicker treatment by seeing a pharmacist instead of a GP, its clinical commissioning Group (CCG) has found.

NHS Isle of Wight CCG's minor ailments scheme, Pharmacy First, found that on average 500 people on the island now consult a pharmacist every month instead of booking a GP appointment.  

The scheme encourages people to visit a community pharmacist for minor ailments. Pharmacists can then suggest whether or not patients should see a GP.

Conditions treated under the scheme include: coughs, colds, sore throats, hayfever and other allergies, aches and pains, diarrhoea or constipation, skin infections, warts and verrucae, conjunctivitis, head lice, worms and scabies, and insect bites and stings.

The CCG’s deputy head of medicines optimisation, Caroline Allen, said: ‘We know there’s a lot of demand for GP appointments, so Pharmacy First frees up doctors to see more appropriate patients that do need primary care help.

‘We are really pleased to see people are using Pharmacy First, but we are keen for more people to use this fantastic service. We have increased the range of medicines available so this will enable more people with a wider range of healthcare needs to get help.’