Posted by Amanda Crawford at 27/12/2018 16:42:44
Doctors in Ashford are urging people to think pharmacy first for common minor ailments.
Local pharmacies can offer a wealth of health support and should be the first port of call for common illnesses such as coughs and colds.
Dr Navin Kumta, chair of NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Pharmacists are highly trained professionals who can provide much more than just a prescription. At this time of year, many people get colds and flu and visit their GP when in reality a quick trip to the pharmacy is what they need.
“Many pharmacies are open for longer hours than GP surgeries, and you don’t need an appointment. Pharmacists can give advice and guidance about common problems such as headache and coughs and colds and tummy bugs. They can also advise people about buying over-the-counter medicine and give advice on prescribed medication.
“If they can’t help you, they will be able to direct you to the right place, whether that is your GP, practice nurse, or a minor injuries unit. As many pharmacies now have consulting rooms people can discuss their problems with the pharmacist in private.”
The push to use pharmacists comes as the winter season of coughs and colds begins. The best treatment for a cold is to drink fluids, take paracetamol and rest. Antibiotics don’t work against viral infections such as colds and will not be prescribed by your doctor. To find your nearest pharmacist, and check opening hours over the holiday period, see www.healthhelpnow.nhs.uk. The Health Help Now web app is free to use and has been developed by local GPs and health professionals to help people in Kent find out about local health services. It can also be downloaded via the App Store and Google Play.