Forth Valley pharmacies expand prescribing services for children

Parents in Forth Valley with children suffering from sore throats or skin infections that may need antibiotics can now go straight to their pharmacist, saving a visit to the GP.
Laura Byrne, director of pharmacy for NHS Forth Valley. (Pic: NHS FV)Laura Byrne, director of pharmacy for NHS Forth Valley. (Pic: NHS FV)
Laura Byrne, director of pharmacy for NHS Forth Valley. (Pic: NHS FV)

The initiative is an expansion of the NHS Pharmacy First Scotland programme in which pharmacies play a greater role in providing treatment advice and prescribing medicines for a range of minor illnesses such as earaches, sore throats and urinary infections and other common clinical conditions that previously required a visit to the GP.

The latest update allows pharmacists to prescribe Penicillin V for children over five with acute sore throats and Flucloxacillin for skin infections in young people up to the age of 17.

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Pharmacies now also offer a free sharps disposal service for diabetic patients and other whose self-treatment requires injections.

Laura Byrne, director of pharmacy at NHS Forth Valley, said: “The expansion of the Pharmacy First programme increases the range of treatments available for minor illnesses, making them even more accessible for people in Forth Valley. It plays an important part in helping people access the right care in the right place at the right time, without having to go to their GP practice or Accident and Emergency Department for non-urgent treatment.

“In the event that the Pharmacist feels the condition needs further investigation or specialist care they will refer patients to the appropriate service, which could be a GP, optometrist, dentist, or other NHS service.”

Pharmacy First helps people to self-manage new and existing conditions. Pharmacies are best positioned to do this due to the ongoing relationships they have with people who access services. Pharmacists are familiar with patient treatments and can provide advice on managing side effects from medicines, interactions between medicines and provide more general advice on self-management before referring to other services.

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