People across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are being urged to speak to their local community pharmacist to get the medical attention they need for minor illnesses – and to help the NHS to manage current pressures.
The plea is being made to avoid people suffering with minor illnesses – like coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains – from attending accident and emergency departments unnecessarily.
The message is also a reminder of the range of healthcare services available in many towns, cities, villages, shopping centres, supermarkets and a host of other locations across the county, which are being highlighted ahead of World Pharmacists Day on Saturday 25 September.
It is hoped that promoting the range of services available at the 206 pharmacies across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire will help to support NHS staff as they continue their work to manage current demand, clear backlogs and extend the roll-out of the vaccination programme.
Mindy Bassi, Chief Pharmacist at NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG, said: “Community pharmacists – like all our NHS staff – have been working incredibly hard throughout the pandemic and I’d like to thank pharmacy teams across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire for the role they have played.
“If you’re experiencing a minor health concern, I would urge you to consider speaking to your local pharmacy or visit NHS111 online first, rather than calling your GP or turning-up to an accident and emergency department.
“Community pharmacies are among the NHS’s most trusted services but many people simply don’t realise the incredible range of support and advice they offer locally – often without the need for an appointment.
“If you’re experiencing a minor health concern, I would urge you to consider speaking to your local pharmacy or visit NHS111 online first.”
Pharmacists are experts in medicines who can help patients with a range of minor health concerns.
If symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure patients get the help they need.
They can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as:
Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends and patients do not need an appointment to get the advice they need. Most pharmacies also have a private consultation room where patients can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.
Pharmacists have played a key role in the national response to the pandemic and in supporting the rollout of the country’s vaccination programme.
Over 300 pharmacies across the Midlands are now also poised to play their part in the rollout of vaccine boosters, following the national announcement last week.
An initiative originally piloted in the Midlands is also already seeing patients who call 111 for medical attention for minor health concerns also referred direct to a community pharmacy to help further ease pressures on GPs, hospital accident and emergency departments and other NHS services.
Recent changes to pharmacy services nationwide have also seen some sites begin to offer blood pressure checks to help diagnose hypertension earlier before more serious conditions have the opportunity to develop.