From Dr David Crichton, Chair of the Doncaster CCG
Today sees the launch of our ‘winter well’ campaign which aims to help and support residents to stay as well as possible during the colder months ahead.
This year’s winter campaign focuses on giving people a wide variety of useful health and wellbeing information and signposting them to all the support services available, as well as giving practical advice on how people can help themselves to stay safe and well over the winter months.
Organisations from across various sectors have joined forces to ensure residents have all the information they need in one place, including a dedicated website and a staying safe and well winter handy booklet being sent to thousands of homes across the borough
We all know that winter can be a difficult time for many and that is why we are here to support you through the coming months, whether that is with healthcare advice, financial support or gritting the roads so we can get around safely. The booklet we’re sending out to people should help everyone find information on support networks, wellbeing and remaining safe and well.
To coincide with our staying well campaign, this week is also ‘Ask Your Pharmacist Week’. We’re helping to raise awareness about community pharmacies and the many services they offer apart from dispensing medicines.
Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals with a wealth of expertise to give yo
u the right help and support with no need for an appointment.
If symptoms suggest your issue is something more serious, pharmacists will be able to advise if you do need to see a GP.
Across Doncaster we have lots of local pharmacies, with many open until late and at weekends. Most have a private consultation room where you can discuss your ailments without being overheard.
As we approach winter, colds and tummy bugs often increase in circulation and it’s important that people recognise when they’re feeling unwell early enough to be able to get help.
Anyone can go to any pharmacist for advice or to get the right medicines. By consulting with them first it helps to make GP appointments available for people with more complex healthcare needs. Your GP practice itself may actually refer you to a pharmacy for a consultation if you have a minor condition.
Pharmacies can give treatment and advice for many conditions including:
- aches and pains
- sore throat
- skin rashes
They can also answer your questions on prescription and over-the-counter medicines as well as providing the following services:
- dispensing of NHS prescriptions
- access to the repeat prescription service (with agreement from your GP)
- an emergency supply of medicine, subject to the decision of the pharmacist (you may need to pay for an emergency supply)
- non-prescription medicines like paracetamol
- disposal of unwanted or out-of-date medicines
- advice on treating minor health concerns and healthy living
Pharmacists are experts in the use of medicines, managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice. So, for NHS services, convenient access to medicines, support for healthy living and prompt clinical advice, please do ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’!