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Feeling under the weather? Speak to your pharmacist

Local health commissioners, NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG, are supporting the NHS winter campaign, ‘Feeling under the weather?’

The campaign urges older people to seek early advice from their pharmacist for minor winter illnesses.  It is targeted at the over 60s, and also at those aged 45 and above who often look after an older friend, neighbour or relative.

If you’re over 60 a minor illness can get worse quickly.  The campaign encourages people with a bad cough, trouble breathing, a cold or sore throat, to pop down to their local pharmacy for quick health advice.  It also asks those caring for or visiting an older friend or relative to get early advice from their local pharmacist or from www.nhs.uk/asap if they are feeling under the weather.

Dr Mike Ions, Chief Clinical Officer at NHS East Lancashire CCG, said: “Pharmacists are the experts in medicine and already give advice on a range of minor conditions.

“People often don’t seek advice for their wheezes, coughs and sneezes because they don’t think it’s serious enough, or they don’t want to waste their pharmacist’s time.  But no problem is too small for your local pharmacist, who is a highly trained and trusted source of health advice.”

The campaign has been running since the start of winter with adverts on the radio and press, as well as in supermarkets and local pharmacies.

Dr Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG, added: ““It’s easy to forget that our local pharmacists can provide expert guidance on how to help manage long-term conditions, or give advice on the best treatment for a cough or cold.

“It is essential though that older people seek help as soon as possible to prevent a trip to hospital if their condition gets worse. And the earlier the better is the approach to take.”

If you visit your local pharmacist, Healthwatch Lancashire wants to hear from you. Share your positive or negative experience with us here.