Pharmacists in Sefton’s two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will be reminding residents about the range of services available in local chemists, and encouraging them to make appropriate use of NHS services during Ask Your Pharmacist week (9-15 November).
Often, people make unnecessary trips to the GP or even A&E, when their neighbourhood chemist could help instead. In recent years, pharmacists have expanded their role, and now provide a wide range of clinical and public health services, within easy reach of the people who need them most. However, whilst most people go first to their chemist for medicines and medicines advice, many don’t know about the range of other healthcare services on offer in chemists.
NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG have made this easier with their Care at the Chemist scheme, providing fast expert advice and medications for a wide range of conditions, without the need for a doctor’s appointment.
Mr Wear, who has been visiting Ryders Chemist in Formby since 1988, said: “I have been coming here a long time now and the pharmacists have always been approachable. I use Care at the Chemist a lot and find it extremely useful, the advice they give is invaluable and it can save a lot of time rather than getting an appointment at the doctors.”
Susanne Lynch is the CCGs’ head of medicines management and the Sefton mum of two and uses Care at the Chemist if her boys are under the weather. Susanne said: “Our Care at the Chemist service helps keep people up to speed with what is now on offer on their doorstep in pharmacies – a uniquely accessible healthcare professional workforce who can deliver expert medicines advice and an expanding list of public health services.
“Your local pharmacist is a good first contact point for advice on many common health concerns – it is certainly mine. While most people will go first to their pharmacist for medicines advice, many don’t know about the range of other healthcare services provided by pharmacies on their doorstep and the level of expertise there. Pharmacists are available without appointment and are able to deal with a wide range of ailments, as well as offering uniquely accessible advice on maintaining and improving your health.
“Here in Sefton we promote this regularly through our Care at the Chemist scheme but this awareness week will promote this wider and will hopefully alert patients to the services on offer at the chemists on their doorsteps.”
Activities are planned across the country during Ask Your Pharmacist Week including health checks in shopping centres, community talks, chemist window displays and visits to chemists by local dignitaries.
Anyone of any age who is registered with a Sefton GP can get Care at the Chemist. Simply call into your chemist and ask to be registered onto the scheme. It is best if you use your usual chemist but if you are using one that does not know you; you will be asked to bring proof of identity.