Shropshire pharmacist joins national scheme to ease pressure on NHS

A Shropshire pharmacist has urged people to take part in a new scheme to help ease the pressure on GPs and A&E departments.

John Gentle,superintendent pharmacist at The Pharmacy @ Caxton, Oswestry, wants people to seek advice on minor medical conditions from their local chemist as a first point of call, on guidance from NHS England.

It comes after a recent investigation by the BBC suggested more than 12,000 people attended A&E more than 10 times a year, with more than 150 of those visiting 50 times a year.

Mr Gentle said the scheme will benefit patients with a quick turnaround at the counter.
He said: “The NHS is already under huge pressure and it is only going to increase in the coming years as the UK population grows.

“A lot of this pressure could be eased if people instead used their local pharmacy for advice on many minor ailments, instead of going to their GP or even A&E.

“Pharmacists are trained in the correct use of all medication and can therefore offer advice on the vast majority of minor common ailments, from chicken pox and eczema to coughs and colds.

“You don’t need to make an appointment and all pharmacists will be happy to have a chat with you about what is wrong and the best way to treat it. If people made much more use of their local pharmacists, it would make a real difference to the NHS.”

He said this is beneficial because pharmacists are highly trained in the correct use of all medications and can offer advice on most common ailments and the best course of treatment.

If a condition is more serious they will refer a patient to their GP or to A&E.

Mr Gentle added that many people also make doctors appointments for repeat prescriptions, whereas almost all pharmacists offer their own free repeat prescription services that all patients can sign up to.

“Repeat prescriptions can seem like a lot of hassle when you have to call the doctors, make an appointment, go in and then go to pick up the prescription.
“I think in many cases people simply don’t know that an easier option is available which will free up doctors’ time and make the whole experience faster, simpler and hassle free.
“There are many changes we could all make to help ease the pressure on the NHS, we just need to change our habits or preconceptions.”



Pete White Pete White

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