Nearly 26,000 GP appointments were freed up in February thanks to a digital system available to all pharmacies across Wales, data has shown.

The Common Ailments Service supports community pharmacies to provide services for patients across Wales to free up GP appointments for people with more complex needs.

Under the scheme, free treatment and advice can be offered for 27 common conditions including sore throats, colic and chickenpox.

The service enables pharmacists to access patients’ summary medical records and share details of pharmacy consultations with the patients’ GPs digitally.

Data reveals that 25,834 GP appointments, 12 A&E visits and 264 GP out-of-hours appointments were freed up across Wales in February 2024 by patients accessing the service instead.