UBER drivers will deliver NHS prescriptions to patients’ doors in just a few weeks.
From March, Brits will be able to use the Healthera app to order medicines for delivery, which can arrive in as little as one hour.
Customers using the service can also order medicine cupboard essentials, like paracetamol and plasters, from over 1,500 pharmacies across Britain.
When using the app, customers can then choose whether they want the “express delivery” or a one-hour delivery slot, which also runs evenings and weekends.
Users will be able to ‘live track’ their orders, from being dispensed, to its journey to their front doorsteps, with live updates and an estimated time of arrival.
Any prescriptions will still have to be written by a doctor following a consultation, while the GP will approve repeat prescriptions before they can be dispensed, according to the Telegraph.
Patients will still need to pay for medicine and prescriptions in the usual way, and an additional delivery charge is expected.
‘Making medicines more accessible’
It comes as pharmacists have been given powers to treat seven new conditions without needing a GP appointment under the Government’s Pharmacy First initiative.
People with sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles and some urinary tract infections will be able to walk into their pharmacy for care.
Caroline Varga, head of Uber Direct UK and Ireland, said the delivery system would make “medicines more accessible for people across the length and breadth of the country”.
Quintus Liu, chief executive and founder of Healthera, said it would add “a best-of-class delivery infrastructure that will enable them to offer customers and patients greater delivery speed, reliability and convenience”.
The NHS app is also expanding its features so millions of Brits can now access and order repeat prescriptions, see when they have been issued, and collect them from any pharmacy using a digital barcode, after a successful trial period.
Health Secretary Victoria Atkins said the update will make the access to care “easier for everyone”.
She said: “Today’s update will mean ordering and collecting your prescriptions can be done with a few taps of your fingers.
“This will not only benefit anyone getting a prescription, it will also ease pressures on our hard-working pharmacists and GPs – freeing up valuable time for patients and helping to cut waiting lists.”
Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director for transformation at NHS England, said: “Giving all patients in England direct access to prescription information through the app means they’ll know when their prescription is issued and avoid delays in collection.
“The new feature will also mean people who haven’t set a nominated pharmacy will be able to present the barcode in the app to a pharmacy of their choice without needing a paper version.”
The 7 conditions pharmacists can now treat without GP prescription
Pharmacists can give you advice on a range of conditions and suggest medicines you can buy that can help.
They may also be able to offer treatment for some conditions, without you needing to see a GP:
- infected insect bites
- sore throat
- urinary tract infections (UTIs)
If you go to a pharmacy with one of these conditions, the pharmacist will offer you advice or treatment or refer you to a GP or other healthcare professional.
Source: The Sun