Think pharmacy first for patients

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RESIDENTS are being reminded to think pharmacy first when it comes to some holiday related illnesses.

NHS North of Tyne are urging people to remember the ‘Think Pharmacy First’ scheme which encourages people to go to a pharmacy first rather than a GP.

The campaign was launched in 2009 with all pharmacies taking part as they deal with common problems such as sunburn, travel sickness, diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion, insect bites and stings.

Rebecca Lowes, pharmacist at Davison’s Chemist in Burradon, said: “People entitled to the Think Pharmacy First scheme are those on a low income or those over 60.

“They can pop into the pharmacy anytime they need advice and tell a member of staff that they want to be seen under the Think Pharmacy First scheme.

“So now as the message spreads of the convenience of the scheme we anticipate that more and more people will choose to come to the pharmacy for their consultation to save themselves time by getting help within a matter of minutes and without an appointment.”

Rosie England, associate director of medicines management at NHS North of Tyne, said: “We are delighted that people can use the scheme to go straight to their pharmacy to get free treatment for conditions related to holiday health including sunburn, diarrhoea and insect bites.

“It is much more convenient for people to go straight to their pharmacy rather than have to book an appointment with their GP, and then collect a prescription from the pharmacy.

“The campaign aims to help those patients who qualify for free prescriptions to have greater choice and better access to treatment for minor ailments.

“Think Pharmacy First is using the skills and knowledge of pharmacists to provide the right treatment for patients at the right time, in a place which is convenient to them.”