NHS England is urging people feeling under the weather this winter to visit their local pharmacy for quick, early advice.
The ‘feeling under the weather?’ campaign, launched today, is also highlighting the benefits of getting treatment for coughs and colds straight away, before they get worse.
This is especially important over the winter months – when people are more likely to become ill or feel poorly.
Local pharmacists are a highly trained and trusted source of health advice and can help you if you have a bad cough, trouble breathing, a cold or sore throat. They can also help you manage your long term conditions and help you to get the best from your medicines. Many pharmacies have longer opening hours than GP practices.
Vanessa Taylor, executive officer, East Sussex Local Pharmaceutical Committee said, “Sometimes coughs and colds and other minor ailments can develop into something more serious, particularly for people over 60 years of age, so getting early advice will improve your chances of getting well quickly.
“There’s no such thing as wasting your pharmacist’s time when you have a health concern.
“Your pharmacist wants to help and is always available in the pharmacy. Remember early advice is the best advice!
“You won’t need to make an appointment – many pharmacies are open from first thing in the morning until late in the evening.
“You can find your local pharmacy on the NHS choices website.”
Going to the pharmacy early will give you access to medication and advice on minor ailments, but they can also: provide the free flu jab if you are over 65 or are in any of the other high risk groups, provide expert advice to manage long term conditions and let you know if you need to see your GP or make a hospital appointment, give you advice on how to care for an elderly relative or friend who has a bad cough, trouble breathing, cold or sore throat.
Dr Bruce Warner, deputy chief pharmaceutical officer for NHS England, added, “We would encourage people to seek help from their pharmacist when they first feel unwell rather than waiting until it becomes more serious.”