‘We are here to help you.’ That’s the message from pharmacies to patients across North Lincolnshire ahead of the winter period.
The following months are likely to see a significant increase in pressure on health services due to the colder temperatures, when people tend to fall ill more often, and the continued battle against Covid-19.
But pharmacists are reminding people they are offering patients clinical advice in a range of formats to best suit the patient’s needs. These include consultations over the telephone, and in some pharmacies online or via video call, for those who may be particularly vulnerable if they were to contract Covid-19. Pharmacies also have a private consultation room for those who prefer to see a clinician in person.
Pharmacists are experts in medicines who can help you with minor health concerns. As qualified healthcare professionals, they can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.
If symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure you get the help you need. For example they will tell you if you need to see a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional.
Paul Robinson, Chair of Community Pharmacy Humber, said: “A number of residents are shielding because they are more vulnerable if they contract Covid-19 and, as a result of this, many of their repeat prescription medicines are being delivered or are being picked up by friends or family on their behalf. Therefore, we want to remind this cohort of patients in particular that pharmacies are still very much here to help you where we can.”
“We are now conducting telephone, video, and in some places even online consultations so patients can receive advice and guidance from the comfort of their own home and, at the same time, reduce the risk of spreading the virus.”
“Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You do not need an appointment. Most pharmacies have a private consultation room where you can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.”
“Pharmacies play an integral role in the healthcare system and we are committed to helping you as best we can – especially as we enter what will be a challenging winter period.”
Pharmacies can issue non-prescription medicines such as paracetamol, dispose of unwanted or out-of-date medicines and give advice on treating minor health concerns and healthy living.
Pharmacy technicians can also advise on how to take medicine safely, and help you understand the correct dose of new medicine.
If you, or somebody you know, would benefit from a telephone or virtual consultation, contact your local pharmacy.