People are being encouraged to visit their local pharmacy first if they have minor health concerns - and not A&E or their GP.

NHS England's new Stay Well Pharmacy campaign calls on people, especially parents and carers of children under the age of five, to speak to their pharmacist for clinical advice about issues such as sore throats, coughs, colds, upset stomachs, teething and aches and pains.

Pharmacists are trained in managing minor illness and can assess symptoms and either recommend the best course of treatment or simply provide reassurance when a minor illness will get better on its own. And if symptoms suggest it's something more serious, they have the right clinical training to ensure people get the help they need.

Most people live within easy reach of a pharmacy, many of which offer extended opening hours in the evenings and at weekends. Most community pharmacies also have a private consultation room, suitable for confidential conversations if needed.

Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals who are the right people to see if you need clinical advice or over the counter medicines to help safely manage a wide range of minor health concerns.

"Using a pharmacy first where appropriate will help free up GP time for more urgent appointments and reduce non-emergency A&E visits."

For more information and to find your nearest NHS pharmacy services and opening hours, please visit Type=links;Linkid=10128;Title=Help from your pharmacy team;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Friday 16 February, 2018