Local pharmacists are the key for a healthy community

At times when there is a high demand on health services, knowing where to turn for help can save time, reduce anxiety and speed up a person’s recovery.

Did you know that your local pharmacy can provide you with the treatments and advice that you need to manage a wide range of common conditions or minor ailments?

In winter, pharmacists spend more of their time advising customers on preventing and treating colds and flu and including administering flu jabs. Yet all year round, while dispensing and providing advice on the appropriate use of medicines, pharmacists also help people who want to stop smoking, cut down their alcohol consumption or get advice on safe sex and emergency contraception.

Pharmacists can also support people with a range of common conditions, from aches and pains to earache, cystitis and skin rashes. Some also offer health checks, blood pressure monitoring and more.

Mak Johal, a pharmacist in Farnborough, said: “For many common complaints or conditions, particularly colds or flu-like symptoms at this time of year, a local pharmacy should be the first port of call for people requiring treatment or advice.

“We offer a range of services and have a wealth of experience, meaning that we can dispense advice, medication and healthcare products in a quick and easy manner.

“By helping to treat people with some of the more minor complaints we can help local GP surgeries to devote more of their energies to patients with complex long term needs.

“If someone comes to us for something that is potentially serious then we will always advise them to contact their GP, call NHS111, or if it is potentially life-threatening, call 999 or attend A&E.”

Anybody wanting to receive a specific service from their pharmacy, such as a blood pressure check, is advised to contact the pharmacy in advance to see if they offer the service. Patients can find their nearest pharmacies and contact details using the ‘Find a local service’ tool on our homepage: http://www.northeasthampshireandfarnhamccg.nhs.uk/

Dr Andy Whitfield, Clinical Chair of the CCG, said: “Pharmacists are highly-qualified professionals who can support people with a much wider range of medical problems than some might think.

“They play a valuable role in the health of their community by providing the advice and materials that enable people to manage much of their own health and wellbeing at home.

“Crucially, at times in the year when all health services are under pressure, dropping in to your local pharmacy can give you peace of mind, or start you on the road to recovery, within minutes.”

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