NHS England is reminding residents in the East Midlands that pharmacists are able to offer medical advice and on the spot care for minor ailments.
This means that if you have a cold, the flu, norovirus (winter vomiting bug) or a sore throat, your local chemist is the place you should go to get advice and medication to treat yourself at home.
It is estimated that 50 million visits to doctors are for minor ailments that could just as easily be treated by visiting your pharmacist. For many, this may also be the more convenient option as many pharmacies are open late into the evenings and over the weekends. You can also pop into a pharmacy without an appointment, making it the most accessible of options.
As well as being able to provide advice and medication to help you to self-treat your winter illnesses at home, pharmacists are able to help with other common minor ailments including acne, mild eczema, minor cuts and bruises, constipation, haemorrhoids (piles), hay fever, headaches, earache, back pain, diarrhoea, mouth ulcers and nappy rash and teething in babies. Pharmacists are also trained to know when you should visit the doctor for your condition and will advise you to do this, if necessary.
Dr Ken Deacon, Medical Director, NHS England (North Midlands) said: “Too many people believe that pharmacists only dispense medicines but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Pharmacists are clinical experts in the dispensation of medication and the treatment of minor ailments. This means that if you have a cold, flu, viral infection or other minor ailments, they are the best people to speak to for advice.’’
For more information on how to stay well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell.