Ask your pharmacist for health advice this winter

Herefordshire and Worcestershire residents are being encouraged to talk to their pharmacist if they need help and advice managing minor health conditions this winter.

This week is Ask Your Pharmacist Week (11-18 November), a week that aims to emphasise the suitability of pharmacists as providers of clinical advice and the suitability of community pharmacies as a setting for such advice.

Pharmacists are trained to help people treat themselves for many common conditions, such as colds, flu, stomach bugs and aches and pains, which can be especially prevalent when the temperature drops.

Most minor conditions can be treated at home, and your local pharmacist can provide you with advice and support to help you get back on your feet as soon as possible.

Additional benefits of using your local pharmacy can include medicines reviews to ensure you’re taking the right medication at the right time, the use of private consulting rooms and healthy living advice.

Pharmacies also offer additional services such as flu vaccinations and testing for common conditions like high/low blood pressure and diabetes.

Many pharmacies offer seven-day opening and late hours, meaning that they’re the perfect place for busy people to get help and advice that could avoid a trip to the GP.

Jane Freeguard, Associate Director of Medicines Commissioning for Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups, said:

“Pharmacies offer a wide range of services, including free expert advice to help treat common complaints such as coughs and colds, flu, sore throats, earache, backache, stomach upsets and cuts and grazes.

“Your local pharmacist will also be able to help you with any questions that you might have about medication that you’re taking. So, if you have any concerns at all about the safety or effectiveness of your medicines talk to your pharmacist.”

You can find out more about Ask Your Pharmacist Week and the three key messages by visiting www.npa.co.uk/ayp2019

The NHS Choices website lists all pharmacies. Find out your nearest one by visiting www.nhs.uk and entering your current postcode or town.