This October half term, health leaders from Milton Keynes are encouraging people to visit their local community pharmacy for helpful health advice.
Community pharmacists and their teams are highly trained healthcare professionals and can give clinical and practical medical advice or over-the-counter medicines to help safely manage minor health issues such as: sore throats, coughs, colds, tummy troubles, teething problems and aches and pains.
Pharmacists have five years of training and are qualified to assess symptoms and manage minor illnesses and ailments. They can recommend the best course of treatment. If it is something more serious, they will direct people to the most appropriate healthcare service to receive the help they need.
Dr Nicola Smith, GP and Chair from NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Community pharmacists work closely with their local communities and are a great resource for anyone needing help, medical advice or support.
“Your local community pharmacist is trained in managing minor illness and can assess symptoms and recommend the best course of treatment.
“If symptoms indicate there is a more serious problem, they have the right clinical training to advise on the urgency and ensure people get the help they need.”
With most people living close to a pharmacy and many pharmacies now offering extended opening hours at weekends and in the evenings, pharmacy teams offer fast and convenient clinical support with no appointment needed.
Many pharmacies also have a consultation room which patients can ask to use if they want to discuss their concerns privately.
If you cannot access a pharmacy and you have an urgent medical problem you get help online or on the phone with NHS 111 who can provide advice and direct you to the most appropriate service for your need.
To find your nearest pharmacy and see its opening times visit: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search