Visit your pharmacy for expert health advice and treatment in Havering

19 February 2018

Help your child stay well by visiting a community pharmacy first for any minor health concerns – that’s the advice to parents and carers from GPs in Havering.

Havering Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting NHS England’s Stay Well Pharmacy campaign to encourage people – especially parents and carers with children under five years old – to use local pharmacy services in the first instance.

Community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are qualified healthcare professionals who can offer clinical advice, reassurance and over-the-counter medicines for common minor illnesses such as sore throats, coughs, colds, upset stomachs, teething, aches and pains.

They are also trained to spot more serious symptoms and ensure access to the right help.

Despite this, only five per cent of parents and carers of children under five in London would consider their pharmacy the first place to go for advice or treatment if their child was ill for more than 24 hours.

The CCG is reminding people they can often save time and access more appropriate treatment by visiting a community pharmacy – and in doing so help reduce pressure on GPs and A&E.

A full list of pharmacy services in Havering is available on the CCG’s website and a handy information leaflet provides advice for parents and carers on what to do if their child is unwell.

Dr Atul Aggarwal, a local GP and chair of Havering CCG, said: “It’s natural to be worried when a young child is unwell, but your local pharmacy team is on hand to offer fast, convenient clinical support on a wide range of minor health concerns – with no need to book an appointment.

“Pharmacists don’t just dispense prescriptions; they are highly trained professionals who can assess symptoms, offer advice, recommend over-the-counter medicines and, if the illness is something more serious, signpost patients to the right medical care.

“Most people live within easy reach of a pharmacy, so if you or your child is suffering with a minor ailment, make your local pharmacist your first port of call.”

Pharmacy teams consist of trained and regulated health professionals and can help with many aspects of healthcare, such as:

  • Clinically advising people on the treatment of minor health concerns such as coughs, colds, tummy troubles, teething and aches and pains
  • providing clinical advice and support for patients with long-term conditions
  • explaining how to take new medicines
  • reviewing medicines use to ensure safety
  • providing healthy living services, e.g. advice on quitting smoking, losing weight, reducing alcohol consumption, sexual health or increasing physical activity
  • offering consultations, NHS health checks and a wide range of other NHS services

providing flu vaccinations.