Management in community pharmacies and other stories . . .

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1658 (Published 01 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1658

“Hoots mon, there’s not a thing wrong wi’ ye” was the sort of line that Dr Cameron was famous for growling at his patients in Dr Finlay’s Casebook. Today’s well trained Scottish GPs doubtless take greater care to explore their patients’ beliefs, concerns, and expectations before politely conveying a similar message. After analysing records from two general practices and one hospital emergency department in north east Scotland, researchers from Aberdeen conclude that 13.2% and 5.3% of consultations in these respective settings are for “minor illnesses suitable for management in community pharmacies” (Family Practice 2015, doi:10.1093/fampra/cmv003). Extrapolating to the softies who inhabit the rest of Scotland and England, they suggest that about 18 million GP appointments and more than six million emergency department attendances are unnecessary and that £1.1bn (€1.5bn; $1.63bn) could be saved if patients went to pharmacies instead.

People with gout rarely say anything good about the disease, but their sufferings may be …

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