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General Practitioners

Volume 506: debated on Monday 22 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to reduce the number of people presenting to their GPs with minor ailments. (316718)

The Department’s self care strategy focuses on supporting people especially those with long-term conditions to take a more active and informed role in decisions about their health and well-being. “Your health, your way” provides information about self care support on NHS Choices, including “Making the most of your pharmacist”.

Community pharmacies have a key role to play in supporting self care, providing advice and support to people requesting help with the treatment of minor ailments, illnesses and injuries including advice on the use of over-the-counter treatments, where appropriate. The pharmacy communications strategy, currently under way, aims to encourage people to use pharmacies as the first port of call for such minor ailments, potentially reducing the number of people presenting to general practitioners’ surgeries.