More patients in England could get care directly from community pharmacists, after a government agreement on access to contraception services, blood checks, and some minor conditions.
NHS England estimated the scheme could prevent more than 1350 heart attacks and strokes in the first year and that the plan could remove 10 million GP appointments a year by next winter. Although the move to free up more GP appointments has won support, there have been warnings of potential problems and fresh calls on ministers to tackle excessive workloads in general practice.
The Royal College of General Practitioners said that many patients would still need the expertise of GPs, who faced soaring workloads and retention problems.
The Pharmacy First …