Have you ever been frustrated when trying to make a doctor’s appointment?
It can often seem like there just aren’t enough doctors to deal with demand.
One way to ease the problem is to ask yourself if your own health issue really requires the advice of a doctor. NHS England has launched a new campaign encouraging people to get quick and convenient care for minor illnesses, through their community pharmacist.
It is being backed by team of TV doctors including Dr Hilary Jones, Dr Zoe Williams, Dr Dawn Harper and Dr Sara Kayat, who all feature in a new film promoting the help available from pharmacists for minor health concerns such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy troubles and aches and pains.
The Community Pharmacist
The high-profile doctors say that their community pharmacist is “a vital part” of delivering health services for patients in their practices, offering expert advice, as well as being able to refer the public to other sources of care.
Pharmacists train for five years before qualifying and are an important part of community health services, alongside GPs. As well as offering advice on minor illness, if the condition seems to be more serious, pharmacists can refer people to other care providers and specialists.
Around 11,700 pharmacists offer care advice across England, working closely with GPs and hospitals to ensure people get the right care as quickly and as close to their home as possible. The public can visit nhs.uk/pharmacyadvice for more information or to find out where their nearest pharmacy is.
Read more health advice from the “Friend” experts.