A SIX month NHS pilot scheme aiming to improve Sunday access to pharmacy services is set to be introduced in Wigtownshire.
The launch of the scheme from next month comes as members of the public are being encouraged to think ‘Pharmacy First’ and consider visiting their community pharmacy before making an appointment to see their GP or accessing out of hours services.
Leanne Drummond, Locality Pharmacist said: “People may be looking for help over the coming months for minor ailments or if they have run out of their medicines.
“We’d like to encourage everyone to ask themselves whether a pharmacist might be able to resolve their health issue or problem before they make a GP appointment or seek help through out of hours services.”
The new Pharmacy Sunday Rota, which will involve a number of pharmacies in Stranraer and Newton Stewart, will aim to ensure cover throughout the weekend over the next six months in Wigtownshire.
Use of this service will be monitored to establish the continued need of Sunday Pharmacy Opening.
Minor Ailments Anyone can go to their pharmacy for advice and treatment for minor ailments. Children, people over 60 or on certain benefits may not need to pay for their treatment if the pharmacist thinks they need it for:
• Skin conditions e.g. acne, athlete’s foot, cold sores, eczema, warts/verrucae
• Minor illness e.g. coughs, colds and sore throats, diarrhoea, constipation, earache, headache, indigestion, pain
• Others including allergies, haemorrhoids, head lice, thrush, threadworms
Urinary Tract Infections
Pharmacists can now provide advice and/or free treatment for uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections in women aged 16 – 64 years experiencing the following symptoms:
• Burning or stinging sensation on passing urine,
• Needing to pass urine frequently and/or urgently
• Passing excessive or large quantities of urine
Your pharmacist will ask about your symptoms to give you the right advice. There are some exclusions that may prevent your pharmacist from treating you and they may refer you to a doctor.
Urgent Supply of Medicines
Have you run out of your prescribed medicines and your surgery is closed or a GP is not available? The pharmacist may, depending on the medicine, be able to provide you with an urgent supply. Ask your pharmacist for advice.
Pharmacies offer a range of other NHS services, including supply of Emergency Hormonal Contraception, provision of a 12 week Smoking Cessation Programme (including treatment if appropriate), a Gluten Free Food Service for people diagnosed with coeliac disease and a Chronic Medication Service supporting patients with long term conditions. Ask at your pharmacy for more information on the services they provide.
So make sure you think Pharmacy First before contacting the GP or Out of Hours Service. The rota for the next 3 months is shown below:
Pictured: Councillors and representatives from the four pharmacies opening on Sundays