Healthy Living Pharmacies: your health experts on the high street

Next week is Self Care Week 2018 (12 – 18 November) and we are encouraging people to visit their local Healthy Living Pharmacy first for advice on minor conditions.

Self Care Week is an annual campaign to help people understand how to take better care of their own physical health and mental wellbeing.

A visit to a GP is sometimes unavoidable but many people visit their GP and receive medicines on prescription when they could have visited their pharmacy for advice or cared for themselves at home.

Following a national consultation earlier this year, NHS England issued guidance which stated that NHS spending on minor conditions should be reduced and people encouraged and empowered to self-care, freeing up resources to be used where they are really needed. The guidance is intended to reduce demand on GP practices and help to ensure the long-term sustainability of the NHS.

Community Pharmacists are expert healthcare professionals who can give advice and recommend over-the-counter treatments for minor conditions such as coughs, colds, sprains and strains.

Kirstie Hopkins, a pharmacist at Lloyds Pharmacy in St Leonards-on-Sea, said: “People often go to the doctor with minor conditions such as a cold or an upset stomach because they need the reassurance that it isn’t anything more serious and are often unaware of how long these symptoms should last.  Instead of waiting for an appointment at your surgery, consider visiting your local pharmacist first.

“We can help you choose the right treatment for your minor condition and explain the normal duration of symptoms. Healthy Living Pharmacies also offer help to stop smoking, manage your weight, and can provide flu jabs and blood pressure checks, along with many other services. Most pharmacies will have private consulting rooms to provide a confidential environment for conversations.

“If you have a cold or the flu virus, it is worth remembering that antibiotics won’t help. In fact, taking them can reduce their effectiveness when they’re needed for ailments they can help with.’’

Appointments are not necessary and many pharmacies are open late and at weekends so you can fit in your visit when it’s convenient.

Choose to feel confident about managing your health and take a trip to your local pharmacist – the health expert on the high street.

Throughout Self Care Week and beyond, we will be sharing advice and information to help you feel confident to choose self care for life. Follow us on Twitter @EastHailSeaCCG.

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