Trade for prosperity

Your local pharmacy provides a range of support and is a key part of the NHS team

Whether you are trying to stop smoking or lose weight, seeking treatments for that irritating sore throat or tummy ache or needing advice on your prescribed medicines, your community pharmacist is here to help.

Pharmacies are a key part of neighbourhood health services. They ensure people can get face-to-face care (often without an appointment) and take pressure off GPs and hospitals.

Pharmacies also perform a vital function in society, helping to maintain vibrant local high streets and shopping parades.

Conversations with your local pharmacist can help you get the best use from your medicines and minimise your risk of harm. Many people underestimate the risks of taking medicines inappropriately. At least 6% of emergency re-admissions to hospital are caused by avoidable adverse reactions to medicines. That’s why it’s vital to consult with pharmacists to ensure that the medication you are taking is safe, appropriate and right for you.

Pharmacists are part of a team, within the pharmacy and more widely. Your GP may refer you to the pharmacy for advice and treatment for minor ailments such as coughs, colds and earache. In turn, the pharmacist will refer you for a GP or hospital appointment if something needs checking out further.

The traditional role of the community pharmacist as the healthcare professional who dispenses prescriptions written by doctors continues to evolve. Community pharmacists now provide a wide range of clinical services, covering sexual health, respiratory conditions, cardiovascular issues, urgent care and more.

National Voices (a leading coalition of health and social care charities) describes pharmacies as “a key part of primary care and a way to make healthcare more accessible for more people.”

Local pharmacies should never be taken for granted – use them or lose them!

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