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DOCTOR CALLING: More on offer at your local pharmacy than you think

Did you know that local pharmacies offer a range of services which may prevent unnecessary trips to your GP practice or even A&E?

Over the years, community pharmacy has expanded its role, and now provides a wide range of clinical and public health services, within easy reach of the people who need them most.

While most people go to their pharmacy for medicines and medicines advice, many don't know about the range of other healthcare services they offer.

Pharmacists can save you a trip to the GP
Pharmacists can save you a trip to the GP

Pharmacists are a uniquely accessible workforce of highly qualified health professionals who can deliver expert medicines advice and an expanding list of public health services, such as free flu vaccinations, for vulnerable at-risk groups.

Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends.

You do not need an appointment and they are able to deal with a wide range of ailments, as well as offering advice on maintaining and improving your health.

Pharmacies can give treatment advice about a range of common conditions and minor injuries, including:

l aches and pains

l sore throat

l coughs, colds and flu

l earache

l cystitis

l skin rashes

l teething

If you want to buy an over-the-counter medicine, the pharmacist and their team can help you choose.

People might be surprised at the other services pharmacies now offer, including personalised medicines advice, help to quit smoking and to maintain good sexual health, treatment for minor ailments and advice on preventing disease.

Most pharmacies now have consultation rooms where you can talk with your pharmacist in private and pharmacists are trained to know when a referral to another health care professional is advisable.

To find your nearest pharmacy visit www.nhs.uk/

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