HUDDERSFIELD patients will be able to get prescriptions more easily if Government plans to allow nurses and pharmacists to prescribe medicines get the go-ahead.
The proposal, announced by Health Secretary John Reid, will allow pharmacists to prescribe drugs for common illnesses, such as acne and tonsillitis.
Nurses will be able to allocate drugs for such conditions as asthma and diabetes.
Mr Reid said: "By extending the prescribing powers of nurses and pharmacists we are giving people more choice about where, and from whom, they can get prescriptions.
"This will lessen the need for people to visit a doctor or GP and patients will benefit from quicker and more accessible services."
Nurses are already allowed to prescribe a limited range of medicines.
Pharmacists have been allowed to prescribe drugs in partnership with doctors since 2003.
The new move, still in the consultation process, would see nurses and pharmacists given extra training to prescribe a wider range of drugs.
Pharmacists would also take on extra duties, including patient admission and discharge reviews, acute pain management and medication reviews.
Mr Reid added: "Patient safety remains at the forefront of all our decisions.
"Nurses and pharmacists will have fully accredited training before they can prescribe medicines."
Mrs Helena Corder, director of corporate services and executive director of nursing for Huddersfield Central and South Huddersfield primary care trusts, said: "The trusts welcome the consultation on extending prescribing powers for nurses and pharmacists.
"Depending on the outcome of the consultation, patients could benefit from faster and more accessible services," she added.