[Photo by Tbel Abuseridze on Unsplash]
Local doctors are encouraging people with minor illnesses such as sniffly nose, sore throat, and upset stomach to speak to their local pharmacy for quick health advice rather than their GP.
Pharmacists are experts in many aspects of healthcare and 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 such as your GP.
They also ask those caring for or visiting an older friend or relative in their support bubble 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 David White, Clinical Lead for Urgent Care at both NHS East Lancashire and NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), 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 colds.
“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. No problem is too small for your local pharmacist, who is a highly trained source of health advice.
“I would like to stress, if you have a new continuous cough, high temperature and loss of taste/smell, then please get tested for coronavirus, as these are the three main symptoms of the virus. This year with the coronavirus still in circulation it is even more essential for older people to seek help as soon as possible to prevent their condition getting worse. The earlier they are treated, the better their chance of recovery.”
For information about coronavirus testing please visit: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
For more information visit: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/pharmacies/what-to-expect-from-your-pharmacy-team/