HUDDERSFIELD's pharmacies have been given new powers to offer patients more services.
From this month, chemists across the country will be able to expand services as part of a new contract paid for extra Government cash.
The new powers will allow pharmacists to issue repeat prescriptions, treat minor illnesses and set up health clinics for a number of matters including stopping smoking, diabetes screening and monitoring blood pressure.
Reviewing medicine use, services for older people - including home delivery and healthy lifestyle advice - are also part of the new service, which should be fully operational by October.
The move is expected to cut GP waiting times and improve patient services.
Helena Corder, director of corporate services for Huddersfield Central and South Huddersfield primary care trusts, said : "We welcome the new community pharmacy contract.
"It is an important step forward in modernising pharmacy services and making the best use of the skills and expertise of pharmacists and their staff.
"We will be working closely with pharmacists to discuss the new contract and the potential to deliver a wider range of services to meet the real needs of patients and the public."
Huddersfield pharmacist Gill Hawksworth, a former president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: "The profession welcomes the new contract because it reinforces community pharmacy and the contribution to patient care.
"It is good for patients and good for the NHS that pharmacists can now contribute their skills to the team."