Over 90% of people who used the Pharmacy First service last winter say they felt more confident about managing their cold, sore throat or flu-like illness after speaking to their community pharmacist.
The Pharmacy First service is a winter initiative by the health service which enables patients to have a consultation in a private area with their local community pharmacist for advice and treatment for common ailments.
Last winter, over 21,000 consultations were offered to patients with 50% of users saying they would have contacted their GP or Out of Hours if this service wasn’t available. 64% of GPs also reported that the service had a beneficial impact on their workload.
This winter, the service will be available from participating community pharmacies from November 1, 2019 until March 31, 2020.
All patients registered with a GP in Northern can use this service, with the exception of temporary residents and patients living in nursing or residential homes.
Joe Brogan, Head of Pharmacy, Health and Social Care Board said: “Community pharmacists have an important role to play as the ‘local medicines expert’ and this service will reinforce that role.
“We encourage the public, when they have a winter ailment and are considering going to their GP – to think Pharmacy First.
“Community pharmacists will use their skills and expertise to provide advice and treatment for a range of common conditions.
“This will help support GP practices, GP out-of-hours services and Emergency Departments over the coming months when winter ailments occur more frequently.”
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