The NHS in Sussex is urging residents to ‘Ask your Pharmacist’ for advice on treating minor illnesses and managing medicines this winter.
Pharmacies are part of the NHS family and the range of clinical services provided by community pharmacies has expanded significantly in recent years. The value of local pharmacies is being highlighted as part of ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’ week this week.
You can visit your local pharmacy to receive clinical advice and prompt treatment for common illnesses like eye infections, earaches and itchy skin. Pharmacy teams work with other healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurses, to give you the best possible care as part of the local healthcare team.
Pharmacists are experts in the use of medicines, managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice. You can have your blood pressure checked, get advice on taking new medicines or receive guidance on changes to your prescribed medication after leaving hospital.
Local pharmacies have also been central to the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Sussex, particularly in more rural areas. Pharmacy-led vaccination services have been integral part ensuring every person in the community has access to life-saving protection.
Hardik Desai runs a pharmacy in Ticehurst and at the beginning of the vaccination programme, set up the first pharmacy-led vaccination service in Sussex run by pharmacy staff and volunteers.
As well as providing day-to-day pharmacy services, the Ticehurst team have delivered over 65,000 vaccinations to people in Ticehurst and surrounding villages.
They were recently awarded the National Independent Pharmacist Extra Mile award, which highlights the inspiring ways community pharmacy services meet the health needs of their local communities across the UK.
But the work doesn’t stop here, many pharmacies will now be turning their attention to providing flu and COVID booster vaccinations as we head in to the winter months, as well as providing essential services for prescriptions and over the counter treatments.
A spokesperson for the NHS in Sussex said:
“A winter draws closer, pharmacists will play a key role in keeping our communities healthy. Pressure is already mounting on emergency services and the work of pharmacists is essential in relieving some of this pressure by safeguarding people from preventable illness, such as flu and COVID. Most pharmacies are now providing free Flu jabs to those eligible.
“Pharmacists are also trained to provide advice and support on how to treat a range of minor illnesses without the need for scheduled appointments. Many pharmacies have private consulting rooms where you can confidentially speak to an expert.
“So, for NHS services, convenient access to medicines, support for healthy living and prompt clinical advice, Ask Your Pharmacist!