Rather than visit the doctor, Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups are encouraging people with a bad cough, a cold or sore throat, to pop down to their local pharmacy for quick health advice.
Pharmacists are experts in many aspects of healthcare so seek early advice for minor winter illnesses. They can offer advice on a wide range of long-term conditions and common illnesses such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets. You don’t need an appointment and many have private consultation areas, so they are a good first port of call. Your pharmacist will say if you need further medical attention.
They also ask those caring for or visiting an older friend or relative to get early advice from their local pharmacist or from www.nhs.uk/staywell if they are feeling under the weather. If you’re over 60, a minor illness can get worse quickly.
Dr Phil Huxley, Chair of NHS East Lancashire CCG, said: “It’s easy to forget that our local pharmacists can provide expert guidance on how to help manage long-term conditions, or give advice on the best treatment for a cough or cold.
“It is essential though that older people seek help as soon as possible to prevent a trip to hospital if their condition gets worse. And the earlier the better is the approach to take.”
Dr Preeti Shukla, Clinical Lead at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG, said: “Pharmacists are the experts in medicine and already give advice on a range of minor conditions.
“People often don’t seek advice for their wheezes, coughs and sneezes because they don’t think it’s serious enough, or they don’t want to waste their pharmacist’s time. But no problem is too small for your local pharmacist, who is a highly trained and trusted source of health advice.”