Health chiefs encourage people to visit pharmacies first
As part of the national Help Us, Help You campaign, health bosses in the Black Country and West Birmingham are encouraging people to visit their pharmacy for advice on minor injuries and ailments.
Research shows that 27 percent of general practice appointments in England could potentially be treated elsewhere. Approximately 18 million of these could be treated through self-care and community pharmacies.
Many pharmacies are open late, making it easier than ever to get advice. They can advise you on how to relieve the symptoms for minor health concerns or injuries, such as tummy troubles, coughs, colds, sore throats and aches and pains. They can also offer many over-the-counter treatments which can help you take care of yourself and your family members at home.
Community pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals and experts in medicines, who can offer clinical assessment, advice, reassurance, and medicines for a range of symptoms; whilst also providing use of a confidential consultation room should it be required. Pharmacy teams offer a fast and convenient clinical service for minor health concerns, with no need for an appointment, and they can refer you to further professional help where necessary.
Jyoti Saini, Pharmacist at NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Pharmacies are the ideal place to get over-the-counter remedies and advice for minor illnesses such as coughs and colds or ailments like bumps and grazes – things that don’t really need a visit to the doctor or hospital. Pharmacists are highly qualified healthcare professionals who have undertaken a minimum of five years education and training; they therefore have expert knowledge on prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
“Help Us, Help You this winter by making the most of all the different options you have to access medical advice. If patients become unwell during the cold season or need urgent medical advice but it is not a life-threatening emergency, then they should call NHS 111. Their call handlers can provide a wide range of information from where to find an emergency dentist to arranging a visit from an out-of-hours doctor.”
You can find your local pharmacy on this NHS Website.
Alongside pharmacies, there are other services that can help you this winter such as NHS 111, online and via telephone, and the NHS App.
For more information on pharmacies and what they can do for you, visit the NHS Website.