During Nigel’s visit he learned more about how North Yorkshire Community Pharmacies are supporting the NHS England and Public Health England national campaign to help people prepare for winter weather. The message is to “Stay Well This Winter” and to encourage people most at risk from cold weather, including those with long-term health conditions and the over 65s, to prepare for the lower temperatures.
He also was informed about the “Think Pharmacy First” campaign. This aims to encourage the public to contact their pharmacy first when suffering with colds/coughs and minor ailments, rather than making an appointment to see their GP or attending A&E.
All Pharmacists have trained for five years and can offer expert advice on lots of minor ailments. Most pharmacies in North Yorkshire offer confidential consultation rooms too. They can help with common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains, treating minor injuries and infections.
If they can’t help, they’ll tell you whether you need to see a doctor or where else you could get the best treatment.
Nigel Adams MP said: “Today I heard about the work the team are doing to help residents in Barlby this winter. I was informed how local pharmacies are helping to get residents vaccinated against flu, and about the advice and support they can give people when they have coughs, colds or other symptoms. The pharmacist Tomi Akintolu was keen to tell them about how the pharmacy is preparing for the winter months, and explained the pharmacies “Stay Well This Winter” campaign. We also discussed the impact that pharmacy services can have on the NHS, helping to reduce pressure on local GPs and hospitals.
“On average 215,000 prescriptions dispensed every month in the Vale of York CCG area. This is a very high foot fall of people visiting their local community pharmacy given the area’s population is 331,000. Therefore community pharmacies are in an ideal position to promote these campaigns and advise patients.
I would also urge the public to Think Pharmacy First before making an appointment to see their GP, and in many cases your pharmacist will be able to help you to a speedy recovery from your ailment”.
Tomi Akintolu, the Pharmacist at Barlby Central Pharmacy said, “This winter community pharmacies are going to be needed more than ever. We are the first port of call for many local people on healthcare matters and our regular patients and the wider community really rely on us. This is particularly the case over the winter months with coughs, colds and flu all becoming more common, and GP practices and hospitals already working flat out.
As well as making sure everyone has the medicines they need this winter we’ll be helping people to understand and make the most of those medicines, and offering them advice on common ailments. We can also vaccinate people against flu, if they are eligible for a free NHS flu jab or privately for those who are not eligible. All of this without the need to wait for an appointment.”