Pharmacies will become the “first port-of-call” for “many patients” with minor illnesses over the next five years, Mr Hancock said at a Policy Exchange event yesterday (December 18), his first speech since the Conservatives won a large majority last week.
“There’s so much more that can be done in pharmacies and that they are capable of doing”, the health secretary added.
Referring to his party’s manifesto promise (see below), Mr Hancock insisted the government would “deliver that extra 50 million appointments in general practice within the next five years, both by expanding the workforce, but also by harnessing the power of technology”.
In what was presumably a reference to the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service in England, Mr Hancock said there are more than 10,000 pharmacies “ready to receive referrals from other parts of the health service” – a number that will “continue to grow”.
Mr Hancock’s speech follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s post-election promise that the NHS will be a “top priority” for his government.