Just one in five people aged 18-40 say they would visit their local pharmacy first for expert advice with a minor illness, an NHS survey has concluded.
NHS England has as a result today (Monday 27 February) launched an advertising campaign to highlight how high-street pharmacies can support patients with non-urgent health advice for minor conditions, including coughs, aches and colds.
Plans for more pharmacists in NHS put community pharmacies under pressure
‘Plan for patients’ to tackle NHS backlog – but no role for OH
The ‘Help Us Help You’ adverts dramatise minor illnesses and highlight the clinical advice, support and over-the-counter medicines that local pharmacists can offer to help nip health issues in the bud before they potentially worsen.
The latest campaign is one several being run by the NHS aimed at drawing attention to the importance of accessing the most appropriate NHS service when in need, especially when NHS primary and secondary care services are under intense pressure.
NHS England has also outlined plans to expand the role of community pharmacies, from delivering blood pressure checks to help prevent strokes and for pharmacists to help detect cancer earlier.
Chief pharmaceutical officer David Webb said: “Community pharmacies are right in the heart of local communities, and with pharmacists fully trained clinical professionals, they are the perfect place for anybody suffering from a minor illness to get expert advice.
“Pharmacies can offer the convenience of turn up on the day consultations and can help you get any care needed including over-the-counter-medicines. So whether suffering from a cough, earache, itchy eye, or any other minor illness, popping into your local pharmacy is a great way to nip an issue in the bud before it potentially worsens,” he added.