Three east Yorkshire pharmacies have launched a six-month hepatitis B and C testing pilot that sees pharmacists referring patients directly to hospital consultants.
The service, in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire PCT, charity the Hepatitis C Trust and local healthcare professionals, sees pharmacists and support staff give blood spot tests, which are then sent for analysis. Patients with a positive result are then referred to a local consultant, with patients only referred to their GP on request.
Six pharmacists and five support staff had been trained to deliver the service, which aims to prevent vulnerable patients such as addicts "falling through the gaps", said East Riding & Hull LPC chief officer Janet Clark.
"We are thrilled with it…we're quite excited," Ms Clark added.
Pharmacies involved in the pilot, which launched on June 6, are paid £20 per consultation, with a £200 bonus if they screen at least 26 patients during the six-month scheme.