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RPS animation urges patients with minor ailments to visit pharmacies

Source: RPS

An animation explaining the benefits of seeking treatment for minor ailments from community pharmacies has been published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

The animation was developed for the Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is rolling out a minor ailments service to around 80 community pharmacies in the region.

It explains how patients can visit pharmacies that have been commissioned to provide an NHS minor ailments service for conditions such as “eczema, indigestion, hayfever or an upset stomach” to avoid the need to visit under-pressure GP surgeries or accident and emergency (A&E) departments. It also emphasises the accessiblility of community pharmacies.

The CCG plans to show the animation in 56 GP practice waiting rooms and other healthcare settings, such as A&E departments and walk-in centres.

“This service will help our patients have local and ready access to information about common medical ailments and easy access to treatments,” says Pete Naylor, CCG chairman. “It also represents our commitment to working in a much more joined up way with our pharmacist colleagues to meet the needs of our patients safely and conveniently, and to help our local hospital with its increasing pressures at A&E.”

Jasmeen Islam, deputy head of medicines management at the North West Commissioning Support Unit, who helped to develop the animation, says it will be essential to raising awareness of the local minor ailment service.

RPS president Ash Soni says the animation will also help other health professions understand what pharmacists can offer. “Research shows the results for patients are just as good when they are treated for minor ailments at a pharmacy as when they are treated at a GP surgery or at A&E,” he says.

The RPS has repeatedly called for a national minor ailments service. On 7 May 2015, it emerged that the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee and NHS Employers are in talks over such a service. 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068535

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