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Examine your options.....visit a Pharmacist this Christmas

23 Dec 2015

Residents in Liverpool are being encouraged to find out more about the range of services and support their local pharmacist can provide.

Services on offer include advice and medicines to treat common complaints such as backache, earache, stomach upsets, coughs and colds, flu and sore throats.

In recent years, pharmacies have expanded their role and now supply a wide range of NHS services including: minor ailments schemes; stop smoking counselling; emergency contraception and help for people to quit illegal drugs.

Pharmacists are trained to know when a referral to a doctor, nurse or a dentist is appropriate. In some cases going to your pharmacist may save you an unnecessary trip to your GP.
Important things to know:

  • 96% of the population can access a pharmacy within 20 minutes by walking or using public transport
  • If you are exempt from prescription charges, a range of ailments can be treated free of charge
  • No appointment is necessary
  • You can talk to your pharmacist in complete confidence, even about very personal
  • Your local pharmacist does not charge for consultations
  • If you are concerned about privacy, ask to use a private consultation room
  • If you don’t pay for your prescriptions, you can get medication with the ‘Care at the Chemist’ scheme for many everyday illnesses, without having to go to your doctor first
  • Pharmacists are experts in both adult and children’s health

Dr Fiona Lemmens, GP partner at Aintree Park Group Practice in North Liverpool, Urgent Care Lead and Governing Body member for Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group said, "It is really important for the public to be aware of exactly what services are available at their high street pharmacy. We make 1.6 million visits to pharmacists every day, but research shows many patients are still unaware of the wide range of services their pharmacist can provide.

“Local pharmacists do so much more these days than just give out prescriptions; they are highly-qualified experts in the use of medicines to treat disease and have an in-depth knowledge about prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

“Pharmacists undertake 5 years of specialist training and have to work continuously to maintain their professional development. They have the time and expertise to help patients on a range of issues, including health checks for blood pressure and diabetes.

They also offer free medicine check-ups, help patients stop smoking and provide new services such as Chlamydia testing and even the flu jab.”

A full list of pharmacies which are open during the Christmas and New Year period can be found here.

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