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30 August 2016
High street pharmacists can offer advice and medication for a wide range of common illnesses, saving you time in a waiting room, and helping you to feel better faster.
Did you know that pharmacists can also issue an emergency supply of any prescription medication that is not a controlled drug?
You can see your local high street pharmacist anytime without an appointment, which is useful for those times when your local doctor's surgery is closed.
Fiona Garnet, a pharmacist and Head of Medicines Management for NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) said: “Pharmacists can help with a wide range of common conditions and minor injuries, such as headaches and back pain, coughs and colds, sore throat, upset stomach or skin rashes.
They can help choose the best medicines such as pain killers and anti-histamines and help people stock their medicine cabinet at home to treat minor illnesses and ailments."
Pharmacists can also carry out reviews of your regular medication.
Even if your local surgery is closed, remember that a GP is available 24/7 through the local out of hours service. Just call your usual surgery number or check their website for information.
The Putnoe Walk-in Centre, Bedford is open 8am – 6.30pm, 365 days a year, and can help with minor illnesses such as cuts and grazes, strains and sprains, and an array of other common ailments as a safe, speedy alternative to waiting at A&E.
If you think you need health advice urgently, call 111 to talk to NHS staff who can put you in touch with the right healthcare.
nhs.uk has details details of local NHS services as well as lots of information about illness, symptoms and treatments.
Notes to editors
At Putnoe walk in centre, the majority of patients are seen within one hour. Waiting at a hospital Accident and Emergency Department for non-urgent problems may be much longer as the most unwell patients are seen as a priority.
Please note that the Walk-In Centre is a nurse-led service. Whilst a GP is always available if clinically required you are most likely to be seen by a Minor Illness Specialist Nurse in the first instance.
The NHS has more information about controlled drugs.
Visit www.nhs.uk/chemist to find more information about your nearest pharmacy including the services they offer and their opening times. Many pharmacies are open late and at weekends.
Common medicines available over-the-counter can treat a range of minor ailments such as:aches and pains, heartburn and indigestion, coughs and colds, hay fever and allergies, sore throat , eczema, upset stomach , athlete's foot, skin rashes, headlice.
BCCG is a GP-led commissioning group that purchases secondary and community health services for the people of Bedfordshire.