Pharmacy assisted patient self care of minor ailments: A chronological review of UK health policy documents and key events 1997-2010
Objectives The aim of this review is to provide a historical perspective of the evolution of UK health policies and key events relevant to pharmacy assisted self care of minor ailments.Methods Health policy documents identified from free public web archives of all UK health department(s) published from 1997 to 2010 were reviewed for relevance to pharmacy assisted self care of minor ailments.Results Substantial focus on pharmacy assisted self care of minor ailments was identified within health policy documents with key drivers being: the need to reduce associated financial burden owing to minor ailments presentation at the General Practices (GPs), increasing patient access to services and aiding pharmacists' professional development through extended role. Two key interventions, directly aimed at shifting this balance of care, were the ongoing legal reclassification of prescription medicines to pharmacy supply and introduction of free minor ailments schemes across the UK.Conclusions A shift from GP led to community pharmacy led patient self care of minor ailments has been a focus of many UK health policy documents. The existing burden of minor ailments on GP services requires sustained emphasis on community pharmacy, as well as research to reduce gaps between current policy and practice.
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