Health workers will be giving away free thermometers outside two supermarkets as part of a drive highlighting the important role of pharmacists.
Staff from NHS Erewash and NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will be outside Asda, Langley Mill, Ilkeston on Wednesday 5 March and Asda Superstore, Derby on Monday 17 March.
The thermometers – and a healthy tips factsheet – are incentives for shoppers to complete a scratch card testing their awareness of what action to take with a variety of ailments.
The CCGs are supporting a national campaign, “The Earlier the Better”, devised by the NHS to reduce pressure on urgent and emergency care. By encouraging people to take action as soon as they begin to feel unwell, the NHS is hoping to reduce the number of people developing serious illnesses.
The aim is to reduce the number of people being admitted to A&E departments with illnesses that could have been effectively treated earlier by self-care or community pharmacy.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:
“People aren’t always confident in taking medication or perhaps feel that they can shrug off a cough or cold. However there is a risk, especially for people with existing conditions, that something minor can turn into a more serious illness.
“Lots of people don’t know that they can go to their pharmacist if they are feeling unwell. Many pharmacists have rooms for consultations and you do not need an appointment.”
Dr Avi Bhatia, Chair of NHS Erewash CCG, added:
“Pharmacists are highly qualified healthcare professionals who have undertaken five years of education and training for this specialist role. Therefore they have expert knowledge on prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
“Why not call into your local pharmacy to find out more about what they do and what they can offer?”
To find your nearest pharmacy go to www.nhs.uk or text ‘pharmacy’ to 64747 for free details. For further details about the national campaign visit www.nhs.uk/asap.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
NHS Erewash CCG represents 12 GP practices, acting on behalf of 96,000 patients in Ilkeston, Long Eaton and surrounding villages. They are one of four clinical commissioning groups in the county responsible for the healthcare of people in Derbyshire.
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices and is one of four clinical commissioning groups in the county responsible for the healthcare of 525,000 people in Derbyshire.
For advice on finding the right health service at the right time in Southern Derbyshire, visit www.choosewellsouthernderbyshire.co.uk.
Charles Malkin, Communications Officer
Tel: 01246 514971/07825 274111