Feeling unwell? Your friendly local pharmacist could help

People coughing and spluttering on the bus? Sneezing down the phone? Sharing tales of their ailments in the queue at the shop? Ah, was there ever a truer sign that winter‘s approaching.

Pharmacists are able to offer free professional advice. Credit iPocrates.

If you or someone you know is feeling unwell, you want to do whatever you can to get better as quickly as possible.

Very often the quickest and easiest way to get advice and appropriate treatment is to contact your local high street pharmacy, as NHS Norfolk explains…

This week is Ask Your Pharmacist Week, a national drive by the National Pharmacy Association to raise awareness of what pharmacies have to offer. Many people turn to their GP out of habit when they’re feeling ill, but often a trip to the pharmacy would be every bit as helpful and get you on the road to recovery.

Pharmacists are highly qualified health professionals as well and must complete a four-year Master of Pharmacy degree and one year’s practical training before they can register with the General Pharmaceutical Council.

If you have a common complaint such as a cough, cold, upset stomach, aches or sprains, your high street pharmacy can give you expert advice without an appointment.

They can offer advice on the best medicines to take for whatever ails you, and you can talk to them about medicine cabinet essentials. Pharmacies also offer support to make healthy lifestyle choices through support to quit smoking, lose weight and be more physically active.

The best thing about pharmacies is that they are located in the community. In England, 99% of people are never more than a 20 minute drive from a pharmacy and you don’t need an appointment. Pharmacists treat everything in confidence and most pharmacies have private rooms for more sensitive or personal issues.

Ask Your Pharmacist Week runs from 5-12 November. Credit: sarabeephoto.

To find your nearest pharmacy in Norfolk (or anywhere for that matter) go to www.nhs.uk/servicedirectories. If you put in your postcode or village or town name, you’ll be given a list of the closest pharmacies to you, along with information on their opening hours, contact details and services they offer.

Ask Your Pharmacist Week is being celebrated as part of Choose Well, a national campaign to encourage people to choose the NHS services most appropriate for their illness or ailment.

Want to find out more about where to turn if you’re feeling unwell or need support from health or care professionals? Visit www.norfolk.nhs.uk/choose-well for information on the options available to you.

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