Shropshire pharmacy chain can offer much more

Shropshire residents are being urged to relieve pressure on busy county GP surgeries by using their local pharmacists as the first port of call for minor illnesses.

Martin Lunt, who owns Lunts pharmacies in Shrewsbury, Craven Arms and Pontesbury said more people must trust their community pharmacy in order to avoid the stress of trying to make an appointment with their GP.

Mr Lunt said: “People often see their local pharmacy as a way of ordering and picking up their prescriptions, but they forget we can offer advice on many minor illnesses such as coughs and colds.

“The benefit is that they don’t have to book an appointment or sit in a waiting room to speak to us as all of our pharmacists are highly trained and more than happy to provide help and reassurance to worried people.”

With spring approaching the weather is still cold enough to affect older residents who are more susceptible to illness or infection and its these residents who Mr Lunt is appealing to.

He added: “There are some occasions when people don’t come in to see us because they feel their illness is only minor and they don’t want to waste our time, but we are here to help.

“We take every case extremely seriously and all of our pharmacists are ready to deal with any problems which are put in front of them.”

Millions of people visit their GP each year with minor ailments which can clog up waiting rooms and surgeries and cause additional and, in some cases, unnecessary work for GPs.

Ian Swindell, superintendent pharmacist at Lunts, said: “As a pharmacy we’re able to recognise common health problems, and we’ll give advice where appropriate.

“If the problem is more serious and needs the attention of a GP then we’ll make sure we advise on the correct course of action to be taken and it's done so in strict confidence.”