Next week (5-12 November) is ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’ week, and the NHS across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is using the opportunity to encourage more people to make the most of their local chemist
Many people don’t realise the wide range of additional services available – pharmacists do so 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.
Cornwall also benefits from enhanced local services such as a local ailments scheme and an urgent repeat medicines scheme. This normally runs outside of GP hours, however in holiday periods – Christmas, Easter and Summer Holidays – the service also operates in GP hours too.
Georgina Praed, Head of Prescribing and Medicines Optimisation at NHS Kernow said: “Community pharmacists in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly provide an invaluable resource for the public to make use of. They are highly qualified healthcare professionals with expert knowledge of over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions.
“With their support we have been able to introduce new services in the local area such as the urgent repeat medicines scheme that allows patients that have run out of repeat medication to access most items through community pharmacy rather than the out of hours service.
“Earlier this year, we also ran our Think! campaign in conjunction with local pharmacists, encouraging patients to review their prescriptions and only order what they need. This has proved very successful.
“Patients can get help and advice from their pharmacist on a wide range of minor ailments, getting the most out of their medicines and maintaining their health. I would encourage people to make the most of them.”
Many local pharmacies are also offering flu vaccinations, avoiding the need for people to make an appointment with their GP. Ask your pharmacist for more information.
To find your nearest pharmacy go to www.nhs.uk or text the word pharmacy to 64746 to receive free texts with the name, address and telephone number of three nearest chemists.