I don't think we use the expertise of pharmacies enough. I've found them really helpful for things like checking nasty insect bites or rashes, which have saved me a trip to the GP. I was offered a health check and got some helpful advice which didn't feel like a lecture. Obviously if something wasn't a simple medical problem - or it got worse - then I would of course call my GP, but I often call in to my pharmacist now for more everyday advice and I think that should be encouraged. I can't believe how many people I know end up on anti-biotics for things like sore throats, and sometimes they haven't even tried the medicines they could get from pharmacy first. Could we encourage more services and advice through pharmacies?
We absolutley should be making use of this existing resource as you describe.
Which raises an interesting challenge.
Your GP will maintain a secure and comprehensive record of consultations.
Will all pharamcists doing this work have the systems to do likewise.
Are there standards
I think in theory this is a good idea but I wory about the commercial interests of pharmacists. I have been in Boots in Brixton recently looking for eye drops as recommended by the eye casualty at St Thomas's to find two shelves of commercial products and the recommended type difficult to distinguish. On another occasion I asked the same store for advice on ear drops and was directed towards the most expensive type when in fact I needed something cheaper but more effective.
So I think they would probably say they would do the best for patients but I think this is actually very difficult for them to do - and in practice they don't manage it.