The campaign is urging older people to seek advice early to prevent a minor illness such as a bad cough, cold or sore throat getting worse and developing into something more serious which requires hospital treatment. The aim is to reduce the number of people being admitted to Emergency departments with illnesses that could have been effectively treated earlier by self-care or through community pharmacy.
Caroline Morris, Head of Primary Care for the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which commissions health services for the Isle of Wight, said:
“Our local pharmacists are highly trained and trusted sources of health advice and can give advice on most minor illnesses and help you manage your long term conditions. You can drop into your pharmacy without an appointment and if they can’t help they will tell you if they think you need to see a GP.
“It is really important over winter that older people get the right advice about how to care for themselves. Here on the Island we have our Pharmacy First Scheme – anyone can go to their local pharmacy for help with minor winter illnesses such as colds, sore throats and coughs, and for those entitled to free prescriptions any treatment needed will be dispensed there and then without the need for a prescription.”
It’s especially important over the winter months that those caring for or visiting an elderly relative get advice from their local pharmacist or from www.nhs.uk/asap To find your nearest pharmacy go to www.nhs.uk for details.