Local Doctors are supporting a national campaign, encouraging people to consult their local community pharmacist if they are suffering from a minor illness.
Research shows that 27 per cent of general practice appointments in England could potentially be treated elsewhere and approximately 18 million of these could be treated through self-care and community pharmacies.
The campaign looks to address this, by using light-hearted, ‘dramatic’ videos and movie-themed posters highlighting common illnesses - such as a sore throats, ear ache, and itchy eyes - which could be diagnosed and treated more quickly through community pharmacists.
Pharmacists are the health experts on the high street and can provide treatments and advice on a range of minor illnesses.
Dr Shaba Nabi, Local GP and NHS Bristol, North Somerset, & South Gloucestershire’s Clinical Lead for Prescribing, said:
“If you are suffering from a minor illness such as a sore throat, cough, cold, or itchy eyes, you can seek early advice and treatment from your local pharmacist to help control your symptoms and support your recovery.
“Our aim, through this campaign, is to raise further awareness of pharmacy services and what they can offer, so that people get their minor illnesses seen to.
“With over 150 pharmacies across our area, you’re never far away from support from a highly qualified healthcare expert.”
Chris Howland-Harris, Superintendent Pharmacist at Ashgrove Pharmacy, said:
“Pharmacists are able to recognise and treat many common illnesses, and recommend over-the-counter treatments where necessary.
“Pharmacies across the area are often open during evenings and throughout the weekend, and can provide support at short-notice without an appointment, with most having rooms available for a private consultation.
“As well as saving you time, utilising pharmacists frees up appointments for your GP to see more urgent patients. If we think you do need to see a GP, we’ll always advise you to do so.”
As well as advising on minor illnesses, pharmacists can also administer flu jabs, offer support to patients with long-term conditions, and advise on healthy living services for losing weight, quitting smoking and more.
By following the expert advice of community pharmacists, you can help the NHS help you stay well; prevent an illness getting worse; take the best course of action; and get well again sooner.