Patients are being urged to make the most of their local pharmacist this winter for common health complaints to help doctors spend more time with seriously ill patients.
Many people don’t realise the wide range of additional services available as pharmacists do much more than dispensing prescriptions. They offer free expert advice on a wide range of health issues, support for self-care and medicines to treat common complaints such as coughs and colds, flu, sore throats, earache, backache, stomach upsets and cuts and grazes.
Patients can also benefit from a range of services including stopping smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol and Body Mass Index checks if you are aged between 40 and 74.
Dr Avi Bhatia, Chair of NHS Erewash Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“Common symptoms are better treated at home with medicine from your pharmacy, leaving doctor’s appointments for people with more complicated or serious conditions.
“Pharmacists are highly qualified healthcare professionals who have undertaken a minimum of five years education and training for this specialist role. Therefore they have expert knowledge on prescription and over the counter medicines. They also have the skills and expertise to help on a range of health issues including helping people to stop smoking, offering advice on healthy eating and losing weight, and testing for chlamydia”.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, added:
“During the winter period where colds, coughs and illnesses are common, patients can get advice, treatment and medicines quickly at their local pharmacy without having to wait for a GP appointment. Many pharmacies are open seven days a week and late into the evening.
“Patients who take regular prescription medicines can also ask their pharmacist for a medicines use review. This free NHS service helps to give patients a better
understanding of the medicines they are taking, discuss any problems they are having with their medication and ensure they are taking their medicines correctly”.
To find your nearest pharmacy visit NHS UK.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
NHS Erewash CCG represents 12 GP practices, acting on behalf of 96,000 patients in Ilkeston, Long Eaton and surrounding villages.
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices, acting on behalf of over 525,000 patients.
The two CCGs are among four which are together responsible for the healthcare of people in Derbyshire.
Charles Malkin, Communications Officer
Tel: 01246 514971/07825 274111