NHS rallying call for Wiganers to visit pharmacies for more than prescriptions and paracetamol
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To mark Ask Your Pharmacist Week, which runs from October 30 to November 6, NHS Greater Manchester is highlighting the top 10 ways to get the most from a pharmacy and make looking after your health much easier.
While many people have popped into a pharmacy for an emergency packet of paracetamol or a prescription, they say the “unsung local heroes” offer much more.
- Pharmacists are qualified health professionals and experts in medicine with at least five years of training, so they can answer questions about medications, such as the safe use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, or offer support managing long-term conditions.
- Pharmacists offer free, over-the-counter clinical help and advice without an appointment on many minor illnesses, including colds, coughs, fever, sore throats, tummy troubles, aches and pains, and sleeping problems. They can also spot the signs of serious illness and may be able to refer you to a doctor or other suitable healthcare professional if necessary.
- Many pharmacies have a private consultation room where you can discuss private issues with staff without being overheard by other customers.
- The pharmacy team can help you stick to making healthy lifestyle choices, including providing support to quit smoking, reduce the amount of alcohol you drink and lose weight.
- Many NHS services are available at pharmacies, such as health checks, support for people with Parkinson’s disease and osteoporosis, and blood pressure checks for over 40s.
- Pharmacists can offer Covid-19 and flu vaccinations for anyone who is eligible.
- Some pharmacies offer travel vaccinations.
- Pharmacies often offer extended opening hours in the evenings and at weekends, with some even open 24 hours a day, making it so much easier to get medical help around work and busy day-to-day lives.
- It’s the one-stop place to keep the medicine cabinet stocked with the essentials, such as painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen, indigestion treatments and a first aid kit.
- There are around 14,000 community pharmacies across the UK, many in supermarkets, so there is one close to where most people live.
To find your nearest pharmacy visit www.nhs.uk/service-search/pharmacy/find-a-pharmacy and to find a particular service go to gmintegratedcare.org.uk/find-a-service/