Did you know that pharmacies provide advice and information on minor illnesses and ailments?
Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals who can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses. The pharmacist will let you know if you need to visit a doctor, but they can help you with a number of things first.
Healthwatch England has put together some questions and answers about how a pharmacist can help you.
Can a pharmacist prescribe medication?
Pharmacists can offer advice and over-the-counter medication to help with a range of common conditions and minor injuries such as:
- common ailments such as coughs, colds and the flu
- tummy trouble
- aches and pains
- skin rashes
- access to the morning after pill and pregnancy tests
Your pharmacist can help manage repeat prescriptions and help with any questions that you might have about medication that you have been prescribed by the doctor.
If you’re taking lots of different medicines, you may be able to have a Medicines Use Review with your pharmacist to help you work out when you should be taking your medication and discuss any questions or side effects.
Do I need to see the doctor every time I need a prescription?
Not necessarily, your pharmacist can help manage repeat prescriptions for you. If you take medication on a regular basis and your condition is stable, your GP may be able to offer a long-term repeat prescription.
Who do I turn to about general advice for my health and wellbeing?
You can visit your pharmacist instead of your GP about how best to keep you and your family well. They’ve all sorts of advice, from how to eat healthily, lose weight, and what type of exercise you could be doing.
What other services do pharmacists offer?
Your local pharmacist might also offer other NHS services such as smoking cessation, blood pressure tests, weight management and flu vaccination. To find out what your community pharmacist offers, just ask them.
What training do pharmacists have?
All pharmacists train for five years in the use of medicines. They are also trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice.
Is a chat with my pharmacist confidential?
Many pharmacies have a private consultation room where you can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard. Ask them if you would like to talk in private.