Pharmacists are there to help GPs

Trackside Pharmacy Bexhill SUS-150325-095439001
Trackside Pharmacy Bexhill SUS-150325-095439001

No appointment necessary - Community Pharmacies dispense prescriptions but they also offer confidential advice about health, medicines and a package of complementary services.

Their importance in taking the strain away from GP’s was highlighted recently and it is accepted common self-limiting illnesses can be managed by a pharmacist trained in using medicines safely.

It is claimed up to 50 per cent of medicines are not taken as intended and medicine waste has become a significant issue.

Ceri McEwan, pharmacist at Trackside Pharmacy explained how recent reviews have helped people understand and use medicines better.

These reviews are particularly helpful when a patient comes out of hospital where medicines may have changed and include support for self-care and healthy living.

Also, the ‘New Medicine Service’ offered by Community Pharmacies for long term illnesses such as diabetes, blood pressure and asthma gives patients the chance to talk confidentially with their Community Pharmacist face to face, or by phone, when a medicine is first started and during the first few weeks of using it.

This can save a visit to the GP for more advice or what to do about any side effects.

Other community pharmacy services provided include smoking cessation, sexual health advice, substance misuse harm reduction, help with the safe use of medicines in care homes and free delivery of medicines.

Rachel Sadler, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Bexhill and Battle, said of her recent visit to Trackside: “It made me realise that community pharmacists can be utilised to support GPs and other public health services, helping to maintain the NHS.”