Health view: Pharmacist can save GP and A&E trips


- Credit: Archant

Children can be a worry at the best of times, and having a poorly youngster to cope with can be particularly challenging – especially if you’re not sure what the problem is.

Even relatively minor illnesses can cause great concern; but it’s important to remember your local pharmacy team can provide timely, convenient and expert advice on everything from coughs and colds, to upset stomachs, teething, aches and pains.

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians don’t just dispense prescriptions: they are qualified health professionals who can assess symptoms, provide guidance and reassurance, and recommend over-the-counter medication.

They are trained to spot anything more serious and ensure people get the further help they need.

An overwhelming majority of adults are aware about the level of service that pharmacists offer; yet just five per cent of parents and carers with children under the age of five would consider seeking help from a pharmacist for a common health complaint lasting more than 24 hours. Doing so can save time and avoid trips to the GP or A&E. With most people living in easy reach of a pharmacy, and with no need to book an appointment, you can make the local pharmacist the first port of call for any minor illnesses. Visit for a full list of pharmacy servicess, including locations and opening hours – and see NHS Choices ( for more information on common health conditions and treatments.