LONDON, July 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Responding to the NHS next stage review, Our vision for primary and community care, Howard Duff, Director for England at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, said:

"The challenge that this strategy lays down to all healthcare professionals is to help people live healthier lives. Pharmacy is ready to take up this challenge and to play its part in delivering preventative services such as:

- vascular risk assessments - helping people stop smoking - tackling obesity - the management of long-term conditions

These are all areas in which pharmacy is already involved. By providing a national minor ailments scheme, pharmacists can also help to release GP's time, allowing them to concentrate on more complex patient conditions.

"The emphasis of this strategy is on what patients need and want. Community pharmacists have broad experience of delivering services with a customer focus and this will be an asset to the NHS as it develops in the future."

For media enquiries please contact the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain's Public Relations Unit +44(0)20-7572-2336