Ahead of Ask Your Pharmacist Week (31 October – 7 November), people in the Black Country are being reminded to speak to their local pharmacist for any health advice this winter.

Ask Your Pharmacist Week is an annual initiative organised by the National Pharmacy Association, which aims to raise awareness of the full range of services on offer in pharmacies.

This year’s theme is ‘your local pharmacist can help’. At a time when the NHS is preparing for what is expected to be a challenging winter, people are being reminded of this vital line of support that is available in their local pharmacy.

Pharmacies can help with a wide range of minor conditions, including coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains. They can also help with dispensing medicines, repeat prescriptions, and help people choose the correct over-the-counter-medicine. Some even offer vaccination services.

Stephen Noble, local pharmacist and Chief Officer of the Dudley Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said: “Ask Your Pharmacist Week is a great opportunity for us to highlight the important role pharmacists play in helping people to stay well, especially as we head into the winter months.

“As experts in medicine, pharmacists can help you with almost any health concerns you may have, whether that's providing treatment on the spot or signposting you to the right alternative NHS service.

“There are more than 200 community pharmacies in the Black Country and many of these offer seven-day opening and late hours, have a consultation room and you don’t need to make an appointment meaning that they’re the perfect place for busy people to get help and advice for a range of minor ailments.

“So, please make your local pharmacy your first port of call when seeking medical advice for minor conditions and play your part in helping the NHS to manage current pressures.”

Patients registered with a GP practice in the Black Country can also make use of the Pharmacy First service. This service provides people who are exempt from prescription charges with over-the-counter medicines rather than you needing to see a GP to receive the medication on a free prescription.

For more information on Pharmacy First, click here. 

To find your local pharmacy, visit the NHS website here.

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