Critically Important Health Services That Your Pharmacist Could Help You With
Pharmacists are not simply providers of prescription medicines, they are healthcare professionals in their own right, ready to offer a broad spectrum of services that can significantly improve the quality of life of their customers. They’re so important that the UK government announced earlier in 2023 that they would be broadening their powers to prescribe medications.
If you’re on long-term medication, a review with your pharmacist can be a genuine game-changer. This valuable service, commonly known as a Medicine Use Review (MUR), is a one-on-one consultation designed to ensure your medication regime is as effective and as safe as possible.
During the MUR, your pharmacist will delve into your medical history and current medications. They’ll take the time to address any questions you might have about your treatment, offering advice on how to manage any side effects and better understand your medicines. This might lead to suggestions for potential changes to your treatment plan, which they’ll discuss with your GP if necessary.
Immunisations and Vaccinations
Vaccinations are not merely the province of GPs and nurses. Many community pharmacists are trained to provide a variety of vaccines, contributing to better public health coverage. Whether it’s the annual flu jab or travel immunisations, your pharmacist can help. Village Pharmacy in Charlton, London is an excellent example of the kind of quality pharmacy where you can receive a wide range of vital vaccinations.
Pharmacists can also offer advice about the vaccines you need based on your age, job, or destination if you are travelling. By providing this service, pharmacists add a convenient and accessible avenue for vaccination, making public health protection easier than ever.
Often, the early detection of a health problem can make a world of difference to treatment outcomes. Many pharmacies offer screening services for conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, which can all be silent killers if undetected.
During these screenings, your pharmacist will ask about your lifestyle and family history, take measurements, and perform simple tests. The results will then be analysed to identify any potential risks, and if necessary, the pharmacist will recommend a follow-up with your GP or another healthcare professional.
Quitting smoking is an uphill battle for many, and pharmacists are well equipped to assist. With a vast knowledge of the different quitting aids available, they can help guide you to the method that might work best for you, be it nicotine gum, patches, or medication.
Beyond providing aids, your pharmacist can also deliver ongoing support, counselling, and motivational encouragement. This added personal touch can make a significant difference, helping you stick to your quit smoking plan and reach your goal.
The services offered by your local pharmacist are extensive and often under-utilised. They are not just dispensers of medication, but trained healthcare professionals able to assist with a variety of health needs. So next time you have a health query or concern, consider a visit to your local pharmacy. It could well be the best first step you can take towards better health.