Scheme launched to reduce visits to GPs

Staff at Seaforth Pharmacy in Hailsham SUS-140905-094114001
Staff at Seaforth Pharmacy in Hailsham SUS-140905-094114001

A pharmacy in Hailsham is asking locals to stop and think before visiting their GP or A&E after statistics revealed that an estimated 50 million people visit their GP with minor ailments each year.

Seaforth Pharmacy in Vicarage Lane has joined a nationwide campaign, Ask Your Pharmacist, to help save locals time and reduce pressures on NHS services in Hailsham.

The campaign is part of the All About Health programme, which promotes healthy living in the community.

Pharmacy manager Judy Ashton said minor ailments such as coughs and colds, mild eczema and athlete’s foot were just some of the complaints people visited their GP about. He said this cost the NHS £2 billion every year which simply was not sustainable.

Judy said. “Many people don’t realise their local pharmacy can support with a number of minor ailments. We want to help locals manage their health effectively so when they feel under the weather we’re asking people to visit their local pharmacy as a first port of call.”

Judy said finding the right help could be more difficult for busy mums and a recent survey found that mums in the South East spend on average 54 hours a week cooking, cleaning, washing and keeping up the family’s healthcare needs. As a result, time-poor mums are left feeling stressed when illness strikes and one in five go straight to their GP to try to resolve symptoms.

Judy said, “Mums are often the ones who look after the health of the family by ensuring the medicine cabinet is topped up, dishing out medication to poorly children and taking children to health appointments. When time is short it’s important to be able to access healthcare advice quickly.

“Children’s fever, coughs and colds, ear ache and sprains are just some of the ailments pharmacies can offer advice and treatment for. With no appointment needed this can be a convenient source of help for parents looking for speedy reassurance and support for little ones.”