Ask your pharmacist
By Dr Wirin Bhatiani
We have a good spread of pharmacies across Bolton, which is good to know when you’re out and about and need some medical advice.
As a key component of the wider NHS team providing services to the public, they are more accessible than ever, with many open in the evening and at weekends.
There is usually a pharmacy in your local supermarket, so you can ask for advice while browsing the shopping aisles.
Some community pharmacists are open 100 hours a week and there is always a selection open on Bank Holidays and at Christmas and Easter.
So when you are coming down with a cough or cold, have developed an eye infection or even need help to get your bowels moving there is advice not too far away.
When the CCG is out in the community talking to people, you tell us that you’re aware your local pharmacist can help with minor illness.
But did you know that every pharmacist trains initially for five years? This covers the use of medicines, managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice.
Pharmacists are regulated health care professionals who continue to develop their skills throughout their career.
There are occasions when your local pharmacist is the best place to go, over and above your GP practice and A&E department.
As well as providing over-the-counter medication, professional advice and fulfilling prescriptions, pharmacists also offer help with stopping smoking, sexual health advice and medicine reviews.
Many have a private consultation room so you can talk in private and they also provide adult flu vaccinations during the flu season.
It’s national Ask Your Pharmacist Week from November 11-18, so next time you feel unwell, ask your pharmacist for advice. Find you local pharmacist here.