A DARLINGTON pharmacist has welcomed a report calling for change in how and where patients receive emergency treatment.

The report into urgent and emergency care services in England is part of a review ordered by the NHS medical director and it recommends the NHS makes more use of the skills and accessibility of community pharmacists.

Richard Binns, branch manager at Denmark Street Pharmacy, agreed with the findings and said: “This report is a great step forward in recognising the need to make the public more aware of what their local pharmacist can do for them.

“According to the report, 20 per cent of GP visits relate to minor ailments which could largely be dealt with by self-care and support from pharmacists like ourselves.

“The more people realise this and use us as first port of call, the more the burden on other health services will decrease.”

The proposed overhaul of the system would place community pharmacies like Denmark Street Pharmacy alongside GP visits and paramedic home visits offered by the NHS’s 111 service.