Pharmacies have key role to play in supporting the health and care service

PEOPLE in the Rye and Battle area will have the opportunity to be involved in ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’ week with the NHS encouraging people to make the most of their local chemist throughout England.

The national event runs from November 5 - 12.

Chemists can play a key role in easing the log-jam at hospital A&E’s.

It is believed that many conditions that people attend hospital for could be treated by chemists.

Many people don’t realise the wide range of additional services available - pharmacists do so much more than dispensing prescriptions.

They offer free expert advice on a wide range of health issues, support for self care and medicines to treat common complaints such as coughs and colds, flu, sore throats, earache, backache, stomach upsets and cuts and grazes.

Mike Hedley, Pharmacist Lead at NHS England covering Rye, said: “Pharmacists are highly qualified healthcare professionals who have undertaken five years of education and training for this specialist role. Therefore they have expert knowledge on prescription and over the counter medicines.

“They also have the skills and expertise to help on a range of health issues including helping people to stop smoking, offering advice on healthy eating and losing weight, and testing for chlamydia.

““Patients who take regular prescription medicines can also ask their pharmacist for a medicines use review.

“This free NHS service helps to give patients a better understanding of the medicines they are taking, discuss any problems they are having with their medication and ensure they are taking their medicines correctly.

“Your pharmacist can provide you with advice on how to keep healthy including quitting smoking, and how to eat healthily and get enough exercise.

“You may also be able to get leaflets and written information to help you make healthier choices.

“Pharmacies may also take part in local health promotion campaigns such as taking care in winter months and flu vaccinations. There are many pharmacists providing flu vaccinations in Rye this year.

“Why not call into your local pharmacy to find out more about what they do and what they can offer.”

To find your nearest pharmacy go to www.nhs.uk .