New plans have been revealed that will see selected pharmacies across the UK turned into healthcare centres at which patients can access a variety of specialised services.
Lloydspharmacy told Chemist + Druggist magazine that the aim of the facilities will be to provide alternatives to patients who currently need to travel to hospitals every week for treatment, but do not wish to have their health issues managed at home.
Three pharmacies have been chosen to pilot the model, with one in the north-east of England, one in the Midlands and another in Manchester. The precise locations will be announced in the next four weeks and then patients will begin to be recruited.
Among the services offered will be early cancer detection screening, cancer treatment injections such as Herceptin for breast cancer, infusion clinics and other testing and screening.
Services will be delivered either by nurses or pharmacists and patients using them will have access to medicines management guidance from the pharmacy team.
A Lloydspharmacy spokesperson said the changes will not detract from the services currently offered to primary care patients, with appointments taking place in separate consultation rooms. If the trial is successful, up to 70 premises may be suitable to become healthcare centres in future.
Some of the new healthcare centres altered going ahead will have a full rebrand, while others will simply have signage that details the facilities on offer. It may be that recruitment for pharmacy jobs needs to take place to cover services provided by Lloydspharmacy.
With more than 1,500 branches across the UK, Lloydspharmacy employs around 17,000 staff and dispenses more than 150 million prescription items every year. Some 440 outlets are GP-practice-based pharmacies, which helps to provide a vital service to patients.