Residents across the borough who want to stave off coughs and sneezes and other diseases this winter are being encouraged to look no further than their local pharmacy.
The huge number of community services which pharmacies offer is being highlighted as part of ask your pharmacist week this week (4 - 11 November).
Many people, but particularly older residents who struggle to get about and carers who tend to be short on time, can benefit from things like the common ailment service and free prescription deliveries.
The common ailment service sees pharmacy staff treat minor illnesses such as colds and flu, saving people a trip to the doctor. Other services some pharmacies provide include automatic reordering of repeat prescriptions and free delivery of medication to people’s homes.
Councillor Jean Hornby, Cabinet Member for Adult Care at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “Many people simply don’t realise that when you have coughs and colds or need prescriptions regularly your pharmacy should be your first port of call. With pharmacies staying open long after doctors have closed and with no appointment required, this knowledge could make a huge difference to the lives of people across our borough, particularly older or disabled people and carers. I’d encourage our residents to ask their pharmacist what’s available.”
For Kevin Davies (64), from Middleton, who cares for his wife and is himself partially sighted, the community pharmacy services have been a lifeline.
He said: “Before I knew about the community pharmacy services, I collected prescriptions from my GP and had the responsibility of ensuring that neither myself nor my wife ran out of crucial medicines, regularly checking dates, strengths of medication and supplies, then making phone calls to my practice for repeat medication.
“Now the pressure and stress has eased tremendously, as prescriptions are sent electronically from my GP to my local pharmacy and I get our medicines at regular intervals. My pharmacist will normally check how we’re getting on with them and if we’re having any problems discuss it with us and our GP.”
Some local pharmacies are now offering the free winter flu jab. As of 1 November, the vaccination is being offered to all under 65s in ‘at risk’ groups, including carers, pregnant women and those with long term health conditions. Over 65s should continue to consult their GP to receive the vaccination. Some pharmacies offer the flu vaccination to people in risk groups including carers, pregnant women and people with long-term health conditions. People should ask their pharmacist what is available.
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