Satisfaction with Minor Ailment Service

The NHS service provided by community pharmacy has been rated highly by its users

Friday 11th January 2019

87% of those surveyed by Community Pharmacy Scotland, the representative body for community pharmacies, score the Minor Ailment Service 10/10.

The service lets qualifying groups such as children, older people and those on certain benefits go straight to their community pharmacist for advice and treatments for minor illnesses.

The scheme, which in 2016/17 dispensed over two million items with a total value of almost £5m, aims to reduce the pressure on GPs and A&E departments caused by minor ailments and researchers found that 60% of users would have gone to their local GP if the service was not available. Other respondents said they would not have treated their condition or would have gone to A&E.

In light of the findings, Community Pharmacy Scotland has repeated its call for pharmacists to be given direct access to patient medication records – backed by 62% of respondents who agreed this would improve the quality of care their pharmacist could provide.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society said the report “highlights the importance of this service to patients in Scotland and validates the important role pharmacists play in our NHS,” adding, “RPS is clear that allowing pharmacist access to patient records would help to deliver the Scottish Government’s vision of providing greater access to care closer to people’s homes.”

Martin Green, Chair of Community Pharmacy Scotland, said: “The evidence is clear, the Minor Ailment Service is extremely popular and saves GP time.”