A new campaign launched by NHS England is raising awareness of what community pharmacies have to offer.
The ‘Stay Well Pharmacy’ campaign is focusing on encouraging parents and carers of children under five to visit their local pharmacy as a 'first port of call for minor health concerns'.
Research accourding to the pharmacy chain Well, shows that nearly a third of all GP appointments, around 15 to 20 million appointments per year in England, could be treated more effectively elsewhere, through self-care or with the help and expert advice of a pharmacist in the local community.
Nick Thayer, pharmacist at Well the largest independent pharmacy in the country, said: “As a father myself, I fully understand the concerns of parents when their young child is ill, and that community pharmacy might not be the first thought for them. But pharmacists train for five years to become experts in healthcare and medication, and with 95 percent of people living within walking distance of a pharmacy, children can be assessed immediately, without the need for an appointment.
“The majority of minor illnesses can be effectively treated in the pharmacy with health advice and over-the-counter medicines. I would also like to reassure parents that pharmacists are trained to identify ‘red flags’ or warning signs of more serious illnesses, and will refer appropriately if your child needs urgent care”.
Five common childhood health problems that your local pharmacist can treat:
- Coughs, colds, and sore throat
- Diarrhoea and constipation
- Head lice
- Ear and eye infections
- Nappy rash