Posted by Amanda Crawford at 27/12/2018 10:35:23
Doctors in west Kent are urging people to think pharmacy first for common minor ailments.
Local pharmacies can offer a wealth of health support and should be the first port of call for common illnesses such as coughs and colds.
Dr Bob Bowes, Chair of NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Pharmacists are highly trained professionals who can provide much more than just a prescription. At this time of year, many people get colds and flu and visit their GP when in reality a quick trip to the pharmacy is what they need.
“Many pharmacies are open for longer hours than GP surgeries, and you don’t need an appointment. Pharmacists can give advice and guidance about common problems such as headache and coughs and colds and tummy bugs. They can also advise people about buying over-the-counter medicine and give advice on prescribed medication.
“If they can’t help you, they will be able to direct you to the right place, whether that is your GP, practice nurse, or a minor injuries unit. As many pharmacies now have consulting rooms people can discuss their problems with the pharmacist in private.”
The push to use pharmacists comes as the winter season of coughs and colds begins. The best treatment for a cold is to drink fluids, take paracetamol and rest. Antibiotics don’t work against viral infections such as colds and will not be prescribed by your doctor.
Additionally, in west Kent, many pharmacies are part of the Common Ailments Scheme, which offers not just expert advice but also free medication for certain illnesses to people who don’t usually pay for their prescriptions. Look out for the Common Ailments Scheme posters. Local pharmacies will be open on New Year’s Day and people can find details of their nearest pharmacy on the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk.