As we approach Ask Your Pharmacist Week (1 to 8 November), North West health leaders are reminding people of the many services community pharmacists can provide.
‘What’s wrong with my skin’ and ‘why does it take so long to dispense my medication’ are just some of the questions people can ask a local pharmacist for quick, expert advice, without an appointment.
National Pharmacy Association (NPA) are running the campaign ‘your pharmacy can help’ to encourage people to visit a local pharmacy before contacting a GP for minor illnesses and ailments.
People will be encouraged to make use of pharmacies as their first port of call for self-care. Self-care is incredibly important and can help local NHS services during the busy winter months. A well-stocked medicine cabinet can really make the difference to every household.
Bruce Prentice, Pharmacist at NHS England and NHS Improvement (North West), said, “Pharmacists are clinically trained healthcare professionals who can provide a wide range of medical advice and information about medicine.
“With over 1,600 community pharmacies across the region, medical advice is never too far from home. If you have a minor illness or ailment, need help with a prescription or need advice about healthy living, pop into a pharmacy, you don’t need an appointment.”
As part of the New Medicine Service, community pharmacies can also offer advice to people on new medication for conditions such as type 2 diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure as well as general health checks.
Bruce added, “All pharmacies have private consultation rooms which allow you to discuss your health complaints and medication in confidence.
“You may be referred to a pharmacy by a GP to make sure you are able to speak to a clinically trained professional about your health complaint.”
Community pharmacies are also supporting the Covid-19 vaccination and annual flu vaccination programmes making it more convenient for people to get protected this winter. Ask your local pharmacy about vaccinations.
To find out how a community pharmacy can help you, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/prescriptions-and-pharmacies/pharmacies/how-your-pharmacy-can-help/
Pharmacists have different opening hours so make sure you check online: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/pharmacy/find-a-pharmacy
Image: Bruce Prentice, Pharmacist at NHS England and NHS Improvement (North West)