This Ask Your Pharmacist Week (30 October – 6 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 ‘meet your local pharmacist team’, highlighting the skills and knowledge of community pharmacists and the wider pharmacy team and their track record of safely delivering clinical services.
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 also offer vaccination services.
Stephen Noble, local pharmacist and Chief Officer of the Community Pharmacy Dudley, 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. You don’t need to book an appointment to speak to your pharmacist, just ask for a private chat. It’s free and confidential.
“It’s vital that people seek medical advice in order to stay safe and well so please don’t wait for minor illnesses to get worse – think pharmacy first and visit your local pharmacy today.”
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.