The NHS works closely with pharmacists in Mid Essex so patients can get support and advice on how to use their medicines at their local pharmacies.
Pharmacists are highly skilled and qualified healthcare professionals who are on hand to answer questions about using your medication, such as what is the right dosage, how and when to take the medicines and how to manage any side effects that could occur.
They will also recommend over the counter medicines for short term conditions and minor ailments when these are appropriate, or provide advice on other measures to help you manage or prevent short term conditions. Although people don’t always think to talk to their pharmacist about these matters, they are an excellent source of advice. And we know from experience that people are more likely to stick to their medicine routine if they get advice from the right healthcare professional in the first place.
You don’t need an appointment to see your local pharmacist and because they are based in pharmacies located in supermarkets and shops they are often open late at night and at the weekends, when most surgeries are closed.
They usually have a separate room so you can have a private discussion about your condition and they can advise you there and then on lifestyle advice and /or over the counter medicines to deal with a range of minor ailments including:
Coughs and colds
Insect bites and stings
Aches and pains
Getting advice from a local pharmacist is the best place to start for minor ailments and short term conditions. If your pharmacist cannot help you treat your condition, they will signpost you to the best person or health professional to treat your condition, which may not always be your GP.