Health bosses in Fylde and Wyre are encouraging people to use their local Pharmacy+ Clinic to treat minor illnesses this Christmas instead of making a GP appointment.
Pharmacists are experts in medicines and minor ailments and can treat many common winter illnesses. Under the Pharmacy+ Clinic scheme, they will offer patients a confidential consultation before offering healthcare advice and medicines where appropriate.
Fleetwood GP and Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) vice chair, Dr Adam Janjua, said: “The Pharmacy+ Clinic scheme has been designed to allow local people to get the right advice and treatment for minor illnesses in the quickest and most convenient way.
“Seeing a pharmacist for winter illnesses like coughs and colds will mean GPs have more time to see patients with more serious and complicated illnesses. With that I mind, I would ask people to consider using a Pharmacy+ Clinic if they have a minor illness instead of making an appointment to see a doctor or nurse.”
Any patient registered with a GP in Fylde and Wyre can use the scheme, although children under 16 should have a parent, guardian or carer with them when they speak to the pharmacist. Patients who don’t normally pay for prescriptions won’t have to pay for medication under the scheme. People are also being urged to stock up their medicine cabinet in advance of the festive period.
Dr Jacky Panesar, clinical lead for medicines management at the CCG, added: “At this time of year in particular, it’s a really good idea to keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home so you can be well prepared to deal with minor ailments yourself.
“Paracetamol and ibuprofen are effective at relieving most minor aches and pains such as headaches, period pain, inflammation in arthritis and sprains, while antacids can help with stomach ache, heartburn or trapped wind and are available in various forms including chewable tablets.”