STRUCTURE: North Manchester General Hospital has installed a private healthcare provider pharmacist at its A&E department to ease demand by treating patients with common ailments and minor injuries.

The LloydsPharmacy First Care Clinic pilot gives patients free treatment and usually means they are seen them within 30 minutes of arrival and 15 minutes after triage.

Dr Jimmy Stuart, consultant and clinical director of urgent care at Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust, said: “This is the first time LloydsPharmacy has partnered with a hospital to develop its pioneering First Care Clinic in an A&E department. Together we have developed care pathways for 21 minor ailments and injuries, and we will build on these.  We need to explore new initiatives such as these to see if they can become part of the solution to the pressures on A&E departments.”

He added: “This could potentially free up the equivalent of two clinicians per shift who can concentrate on patients with more serious conditions.”

An analysis of A&E department attendees in the area showed that one in four could be treated more appropriately by a pharmacist or at a GP practice or walk-in centre, said Dr Stuart.