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07 February 2019

Public encouraged to visit their pharmacy first

Cumbria County Council and local health partners are supporting a new campaign from NHS England to encourage people to use their local pharmacy as the first port of call for clinical advice for minor health concerns such as coughs, colds, tummy troubles and aches and pains.

NHS research shows that more than a quarter of general practice appointments in England could potentially be treated elsewhere and approximately 18 million of these could be treated through self-care and community pharmacies.

The Pharmacy Advice campaign sets out to highlight that local pharmacy teams offer a fast and convenient clinical service for minor health concerns with no appointment needed and use of a private consultation room should it be required.

Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council’s Director of Public Health, said:

"Most people live within easy reach of a pharmacy, there are over 100 across Cumbria and many offer extended opening hours in the evenings and at the weekends.

"By following the expert advice of community pharmacists, you can help the NHS help you stay well, prevent an illness getting worse, take the best course of action and get well again sooner.

"If symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, pharmacists have the right clinical training to make sure people get the help they need immediately and can refer patients to a GP or A&E where necessary." 


Jeff Forster, Chief Officer Cumbria Local Pharmacy Committee, said:

"When you or your family are unwell your local community pharmacy team can help.

"Community pharmacists are trained medical professionals who can provide free advice on the best treatment for a wide range of illnesses and minor ailments." 

Don’t wait for minor health concerns to get worse - speak to your local pharmacy team to get advice right there and then.

Andrea Loudon, Clinical Pharmacy Lead at NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Your local pharmacist is a trained healthcare professional who can provide confidential advice on common illnesses, without the need to go to your GP.

“They can assess your symptoms and recommend the best course of treatment or simply provide reassurance, for instance when a minor illness will get better on its own with a few days’ rest.

“You can also buy over the counter medicines to soothe sore throats and it's always worth making sure that your medicine cabinet is well stocked at home.”


Visit nhs.uk/pharmacyadvice for more information and to find your nearest pharmacy.


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Cumbria County Council and local health partners are supporting a new campaign from NHS England to encourage people to use their local pharmacy as the first port of call for clinical advice for minor health concerns such as coughs, colds, tummy troubles and aches and pains.