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United Kingdom : Choose pharmacy for common ailments.

Welsh Government Health Minister Mark Drakeford has launched a new Choose Pharmacy service, which encourages patients in north Wales and the Rhondda Valleys (Betsi Cadwaladr and Cwm Taf Health Boards) to consult a participating community pharmacy, rather than their GP for common ailments.

An estimated 18% of GP consultations and 8% of attendances at accident and emergency departments are for conditions that could potentially be self-treated. These common ailments are conditions that may require little or no medical intervention, such as constipation, dyspepsia, hay fever, coughs and sore throats, others (e.g. athlete s foot), which are not self-limiting require treatment to prevent the conditioning worsening.

For these common ailments effective treatments are readily available from pharmacies without the need for a prescription or a visit to the GP and pharmacists are trained to deal with common ailments. They already spend a good proportion of their time advising on these conditions, recommending over-the-counter (OTC) products or referring patients to other health care professionals.

Patients using Choose Pharmacy will be offered consultations with approved pharmacists. Unlike other minor ailment services Choose Pharmacy has been developed so that all advice and treatment will be provided by a pharmacist. This recognises the importance that patients place on the advice and treatment they receive being provided directly by a healthcare professional.

Utilising the unique skills of pharmacists to manage common ailments is critical to encouraging patients to seek advice at their pharmacy rather than their GP and medicines supplied though Choose Pharmacy will be free of charge.

Speaking of the new Choose Pharmacy service Welsh Government Health Minister Mark Drakeford said:

"I am delighted to be launching Choose Pharmacy in 32 pharmacies in pathfinder areas in Cwm Taf and Betsi Cadwaladr Health Boards. Choose Pharmacy, will help to establish community pharmacy as the first port of call for people seeking advice and treatment for common minor ailments.

"I firmly believe that community pharmacy has an important role to play in promoting the appropriate and responsible use of NHS services and in supporting people to be able to take more responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.

"The launch of the Choose Pharmacy service marks an important step in promoting the specific contribution pharmacy can make.

Roger Walker Chief Pharmaceutical Officer added:

Pharmacists are highly trained healthcare professionals; they are experts in medicines and already spend a good proportion of their time advising on common ailments and recommending over-the-counter (OTC) products.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Oct 4, 2013
Words:419
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