Published on Feb 26, 2018
NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is backing a national campaign to encourage people to make more use of their local pharmacy to free up GP time for sicker patients and potentially save the NHS around £850 million a year.
Stay Well Pharmacy is a campaign from NHS England which encourages people, especially parents and carers of children under the age of five, to visit their local pharmacy team first for clinical advice for minor health concerns such as sore throats, coughs, colds, tummy troubles, teething and aches and pains.
Dr Greg Black, NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG’s clinical lead for medicine, said: “Pharmacists are available to provide expert health advice and in most cases are conveniently located and easy to access within local communities.
“Pharmacists are able to provide help in managing minor illnesses and give health and wellbeing advice, so they are a useful person to see for minor health concerns.”
Community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are qualified healthcare professionals who are the right people to see if you need clinical advice or over the counter medicines to help safely manage a wide range of minor health concerns.
Pharmacists are trained in managing minor illness and can assess symptoms and recommend the best course of treatment or simply provide reassurance, for instance when a minor illness will get better on its own with a few days’ rest. And if symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, they have the right clinical training to ensure people get the help they need.
With most people living within easy reach of a pharmacy and with many pharmacies offering extended opening hours in the evenings and at weekends, pharmacy teams offer fast and convenient clinical support with no appointment needed. Most community pharmacies (over 90%) now offer a private consultation room, suitable for a confidential conversation, should it be requested.
Using a pharmacy for minor health concerns will help free up GP time for more urgent appointments and help reduce non-emergency A&E visits.
Search www.nhs.uk/staywellpharmacy for more information and to help you find your nearest NHS pharmacy services and opening hours.