Commenting on news reports about sexual health services delivered from pharmacies in London, Rob Darracott, Chief Executive of Pharmacy Voice said:
“Many pharmacies provide a range of sexual health services on the NHS, from contraception to testing and treating sexually transmitted infections. The success of these schemes shows that pharmacies deliver a thorough package of care.
“Pharmacists offer an accessible service, reaching out to people who might not want to visit their GP or a clinic but are nevertheless in need of advice and support from a healthcare professional.
“Just because the pharmacist operates from a retail environment, it doesn’t mean the advice and support given is any less professional than that provided in other health settings.
“Pharmacists will refer patients to their GP or the community sexual and reproductive health services where appropriate.”
“We understand that protocol in South East London includes thorough clinical instructions and referral guidelines prepared by a senior doctor in conjunction with a senior pharmacist.”
The news broke as a result of report from NHS South East London which evaluated a pilot across five pharmacies in Southwark and Lambeth which gave women over the age of 16 access to the contraceptive pill.