Could you make more use of your local pharmacy?
Your local community pharmacies provide a range of NHS services, but do you know what’s available?
Many people don’t.
Only half the adult population knows you can get advice on managing your weight at pharmacies, while two-thirds know that blood pressure monitoring is offered in some pharmacies.
Despite consultation rooms being a long-standing part of most pharmacy premises, four in ten people have never clapped eyes on them. A number of new NHS services are provided from the consultation room, including support for people newly prescribed a medicine for a long-term condition. This recently-expanded service now includes coronary heart disease, osteoporosis and Parkinson’s disease as well as 13 other conditions.
The good news is that most people are now aware that pharmacies offer flu jabs. Record numbers of people have had already been vaccinated against flu at a pharmacy this season.
We all know that the NHS has a formidable backlog to contend with, as a result of the pandemic. So it’s good to know that there are 14,000 pharmacies across the UK which can help take the pressure off GPs and hospitals.
Yet, three million people routinely go to A&E with common illnesses like winter colds, which could easily be handled at home or by a local pharmacy. A further 14 million regard their GP as the first port of call for treating common illnesses, according to research by the National Pharmacy Association.
It’s really important that people get the right care, from the right healthcare professional, for their own sake and for the efficient running of the health service. Pharmacy teams work with other healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurses, to give you the best possible care as part of the local healthcare team.
So, visit your local pharmacy for clinical advice and prompt treatment for common illnesses like eye infections, earaches and itchy skin. You can have your blood pressure checked, get advice on taking new medicines or receive guidance on changes to your prescribed medication after leaving hospital. You can also get vaccinated against flu (if you are eligible for the NHS programme) and, in some pharmacies, get Covid jabs and boosters too.
So, for NHS services, convenient access to medicines, support for healthy living and prompt clinical advice, Ask Your Pharmacist!
Are your children or grandchildren interested in a career in healthcare? They can find out more about the opportunities available here