A health campaign is being launched urging parents to treat their local pharmacist as their first port of call for minor illnesses in their children, instead of visiting their GP or A&E.
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NHS England said there are 18 million GP appointments and 2.1 million visits to A&E for self-treatable conditions every year, at a cost of £850 million to the NHS.
Instead, millions of parents could get more convenient and timely expert advice by taking their concerns to their local pharmacist first, which would also ease pressure on GPs and accident and emergency services.
Research showed just six per cent of parents with children under five would consider speaking to their pharmacist first.
Blackpool GP Dr Neil Hartley-Smith, also a clinical advisor at Blackpool CCG, said: “Using the right health service for your needs can prevent you waiting many hours in A&E, ensure you receive more appropriate treatment more quickly and free up emergency staff to help those patients with the most serious conditions.”