News from our partners: ‘Think Pharmacy’ this #AskYourPharmacist Week say local health bosses
News from our partners NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
With over 80 pharmacies across the county, NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin is urging residents to ‘Think Pharmacy’ for expert advice for minor health concerns and for help with over-the counter medicines, as part of #AskYourPharmacist Week.
#AskYourPharmacist Week 2023 is an annual national awareness-campaign led by the National Pharmacy Association and supported by NHS England. It runs from Monday 30 October to Monday 6 November 2023.
This year’s theme is ‘Meet Your Local Pharmacy Team’ and is aimed at raising awareness of the highly skilled clinical staff available in pharmacies and the advice and treatment they can give, including extended services which covers a variety of minor illnesses such as urinary tract infections and some skin infections, oral contraception, and the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service, which in some cases includes blood pressure monitoring.
The NHS in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin has one of the most stretched A&E departments in the UK, which impacts on waiting times and ambulance delays. Therefore, visiting a pharmacist in the first instance is one of the best ways to help to keep emergency departments, as well as GP practices, free to diagnose and treat people with more complex needs.
Pharmacists are able to supply medicines to treat the conditions, or to recommend over the counter medicines. You can speak to community pharmacists in confidence, as most pharmacies have a consultation room available for private conversations, and there is no need to book an appointment. Pharmacies are also open for longer hours compared to GP practices and members of the pharmacy team can help with common conditions such as coughs, colds and flu, aches and pains, skin rashes and allergies, as well as much more.
Sanjeev Samrai, a pharmacist from Woodside Pharmacy in Telford, said:-
“If you or your family become unwell, ‘Think Pharmacy’ in the first instance as we have a wealth of skills and expertise to help you with common healthcare needs. #AskYourPharmacist Week is an important opportunity for all of us to recognise the expertise, accessibility, and dedication of our highly qualified healthcare professionals available in pharmacies up and down the county.
“As well as helping with common conditions, some pharmacists are also qualified to help with more complex conditions such as urinary tract infections, oral contraception, and can also offer advice on healthy living – how to eat better, lose weight, exercise and help you to stop smoking. It is therefore vital that we get this important message across and to remind everyone to consider visiting a pharmacist in the first instance.”
Some pharmacists also work in GP practices as part of the practice team, and just like community pharmacists they can help with side-effects related to medicines or provide advice and support to help you stay well. Seeing a pharmacist in your GP surgery also means you may get seen quicker rather seeing your GP.
For more information on pharmacy services in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, please visit: www.shropshiretelfordandwrekin.nhs.uk/your-health/think-which-service.