You might not realise it, but your local pharmacist is highly skilled and trained to manage a wide range of minor illnesses such as sore throats, coughs, colds, tummy troubles, teething and aches and pains.
NHS England has launched 'Stay Well Pharmacy', a new campaign which encourages people, especially parents and carers of young children, to visit their local pharmacy for advice on minor health concerns, before making an appointment with their GP.
95% of the UK's population is within a 20 minute walk of their local community pharmacy, giving them access to a team of technicians, assistants and pharmacists who offer a range of services.
What can pharmacists do?
- Advise on safe use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines
- Manage repeat prescriptions
- Give advice on a range of common conditions, such as sore throat, coughs, colds and flu
- Advise on whether or not to see a GP
- Offer lifestyle and wellbeing advice
- Provide free NHS Health Checks for those aged 40-74
- Provide flu vaccinations and blood pressure testing
Many pharmacies are now offering extended opening hours in the evenings and at weekends, providing quick and convenient clinical support, with no appointment needed. Over 90% of pharmacies now have a private consultation room, suitable for confidential conversations, should it be requested.
Using a pharmacy for minor health concerns will help free up GP time for more urgent appointments and help reduce non-emergency A&E visits.
Visit nhs.uk/staywellpharmacy for more information and to help you find your nearest NHS pharmacy services and opening hours.