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​​Need health advice – visit your community pharmacist first​

Blog by Fatemeh Roozbahani, Manager at Day Lewis Pharmacy, Twickenham

​​​​​Fatemeh Roozbahani, Manager at Day Lewis Pharmacy, at work in Twickenham.jpg

Charlotte's daughter had been complaining about a red itchy spot on her foot for a few weeks. Rather than booking a GP appointment she went to her local pharmacy to have Charlotte's foot examined. The pharmacist was happy to help and recommended a treatment for her daughter there and then.

Imagine that it is a Saturday afternoon and your child says he is not feeling well and has a mild fever and a cough, or you've just discovered a family member has thread worms and you can't get time off work for a GP appointment until the following week. Did you know that pharmacists are highly trained health professionals who have the skills to advise on these common health concerns – and many more!

Every month around 166,000 people in the borough of Richmond visit their local pharmacy. In recent years, pharmacies have expanded the range of services they provide which is helping to take the pressure off local GP and hospital services, and giving more people the medical help they need, quickly! Services on offer in local pharmacies includes; advice on how to stop smoking, sexual health services and advice on diet and nutrition.

Pharmacists can help with many of issues which are a cause of concern to busy parents and they can signpost you to local services or voluntary organisations for further advice or support.

More than half of local people aged 75 and over have three or more health conditions. Pharmacists can answer many questions about medicines, recommend non-prescription drugs and discuss possible side effects. When people know how to use their medicines, they stay well, stay in the workplace and stay out of hospital. This is important, as research shows that 2,000 emergency admissions locally are potentially preventable.

Every day millions of people see their GP for treatment that a local pharmacist could have provided. Why not make your pharmacist a first port of call for your illnesses before contacting a GP.