NHS Lincolnshire CCG is encouraging people to speak to their local community pharmacy to get the medical attention they need for minor illnesses for World Pharmacists Day on Saturday 25 September.
As qualified healthcare professionals, they can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses like coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.
If symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure patients get the right help they need.
Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends and patients do not need an appointment to get the advice they need. Most pharmacies also have a private consultation room where patients can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.
Pharmacists can also help with dispensing medicines, repeat prescriptions and, if you want to buy an over-the-counter medicine, they can also help people to choose the right one.
Pharmacists have played a key role in the national response to the pandemic and in supporting the rollout of the country’s vaccination programme.
The plea is being made to avoid people suffering with minor illnesses – like coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains by encouraging them to call NHS 111 or visit their local community pharmacy. By using these alternatives it will help prevent patients from attending accident and emergency departments or urgent treatments unnecessarily.
It is hoped that promoting the range of services available at community pharmacies across Lincolnshire will help to support NHS staff as they continue their work to manage current demand, clear backlogs and extend the roll-out of the biggest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS.
Recent changes to pharmacy services nationwide have also seen some sites begin to offer blood pressure checks to help diagnose hypertension earlier before more serious conditions have the opportunity to develop.