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Coronavirus: General Practitioners and Pharmacy

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL7445, tabled on 29 March 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the level of COVID-19 infections on (1) pharmacies, and (2) GP surgeries.

Answered on

12 April 2022

No specific assessment has been made of the impact of the level of COVID-19 infections on pharmacies and general practitioner (GP) surgeries.

However, to support community pharmacies during the pandemic, we reprioritised services, removed some administrative tasks, enabled working behind closed doors and allowed flexibility in opening hours and closures. If required, these measures can be reintroduced.

In addition to £520 million made available to improve access and expand general practice capacity during the pandemic, we established a £250 million Winter Access Fund to allows patients to see or speak to GPs and their teams. In 2020, we announced £1.5 billion to create an additional 50 million general practice appointments by 2024 by increasing and diversifying the workforce.

General practices have remained open throughout the pandemic, offering face to face appointments to those who need them as well as telephone and online consultations. Practices now offer triage and remote consultations alongside face-to face appointments, in order to see as many patients as possible, while protecting staff and patients from infection risks.