Eastern Eye (UK)

Ask the Pharmacist

Only 16% of South Asians use pharmacy services when experienci­ng minor health concerns


New data reveals only 16% of South Asians would go to a pharmacy for expert advice when experienci­ng a minor illness. Community pharmacist­s are qualified healthcare profession­als, and experts in medicines, who can offer clinical advice for minor illnesses such as coughs and colds, itchy eyes and earache. Mona Dave, Superinten­dent Pharmacist in Guilford, Surrey, is encouragin­g South Asians to make the most of their community pharmacy and she answers some of the most common questions:

Many people wrongly believe pharmacist­s are not qualified to give medical advice. How would you respond to this?

Every pharmacist trains for five years in the use of medicines before they qualify and are also trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice to help people stay well. Pharmacist­s work closely with general practice teams and with other health profession­als to give you the best possible care as part of the NHS team. We can offer clinical advice and overthe-counter medicines to effectivel­y and safely manage a range of minor illnesses - you don’t even need an appointmen­t, you can usually just walk in and speak to a pharmacist.

What illnesses can a community pharmacist help me with?

Pharmacist­s can help you with a wide variety of minor illnesses, such as coughs and colds, itchy eyes and earache. If symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, pharmacist­s also have the right clinical training to make sure you get the help you need immediatel­y and can signpost patients to a GP or A&E where necessary.

What if I want to speak to a pharmacist without being overheard?

Most pharmacies across the country have consultati­on rooms where you can request to talk to a member of the pharmacy team in private, you don’t even need to book an appointmen­t.

Do I need an appointmen­t?

You do not need to make an appointmen­t to see a pharmacist. Most people live within easy reach of a pharmacy. There are around 11,000 locations in England and many offer extended opening hours in the evenings and at the weekends – so it’s a quick and convenient option for minor illnesses.

By following the expert advice of community pharmacist­s, you can help the NHS help you stay well, prevent an illness getting worse, take the best course of action, and get well again sooner. So, if you’re experienci­ng a minor illness – speak to your local pharmacist to get expert advice straight away.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom