Graham Simpson calls for health chiefs to make greater use of pharmacies to ease the burden on GPs

AN EAST Kilbride MSP has called for health chiefs to make greater use of pharmacies to ease the burden on GPs.

Central Scotland member Graham Simpson made the plea after visiting the main Boots store in East Kilbride town centre.

The Tory MSP said: “Community pharmacies have the potential to ease pressure from GP surgeries by allowing trained staff to prescribe as well as dispense medications.

“It would be good to see all health boards utilising Independent Prescribers in the Community pharmacy setting. It would be great to see Lanarkshire leading the way with new innovative services and that continue to lighten the load of our GPs, who we know are in crisis across Scotland.”

Mr Simpson, who lives in Stewartfield, learned about the range of services offered by the pharmacy, which includes dealing with minor ailments, vaccinations and smoking cessation.

He also visited the opticians in the store and had his eyes photographed – getting a clean bill of health.

He said: “I was very impressed by the enthusiasm shown by the staff in the store. I believe there is a great role for pharmacies to take on more work and they have the expertise to do it.”

As well as dispensing an ever increasing number of prescriptions last week the Boots pharmacy delivered minor ailment consultations and prescriptions without appointments, provided the emergency contraceptive, Meningitis B vaccines to those out with the NHS and much much more. Patients need to be encouraged to visit their local pharmacist for advice wherever and whoever that may be.

Boots UK Relationship and Revenue Manager for Scotland, Kathleen Cowle said: “It was great that Graham came along and showed such an interest in the work we do. I really enjoy sharing all the great things that are happening in community pharmacy right now in Boots and across Scotland and Graham could really see the potential”.