Lisa Highlights Vital Role of Community Pharmacy

Lisa Highlights Vital Role of Community Pharmacy

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has been highlighting the importance of local community pharmacies who are threatened with funding cuts that could see many close in the coming months.

Ms Nandy visited Bradshaw Street Pharmacy in Orrell and spoke with staff, patients and other customers about the vast range of services available in addition to medicines.

Like many pharmacies, Bradshaw Street offers an extended range of healthcare including free NHS flu vaccinations, the morning-after pill, advice on using inhalers correctly, medication reviews, and a stop-smoking clinic.  They also see and treat a range of minor ailments such as mild burns, fever, stomach bugs, urine infections and head lice, so patients don’t need to visit their GP or hospital.

Most pharmacies in Wigan also carry out free health checks such as blood pressure and blood glucose testing, as well as advice and support with leading a healthier lifestyle.  The Bradshaw Street Pharmacy even has a blood-pressure machine that can identify potential cases of atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that can be serious if undiagnosed.

Speaking after the visit, Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said: “Pharmacies play a vital role in our communities and help to relieve the pressure on other parts of the health service. I enjoyed speaking to Mr Patel and the staff here about their incredibly important work.

“It is right that the Government is asking more people to start using their pharmacist as an alternative to their GP or A&E but there is a serious danger that changes to funding for community pharmacies introduced in December could result in closures. This is an issue that really matters to thousands of people in Wigan. Ministers must use the upcoming Budget to ensure pharmacies like this one have the resources they need to remain at the heart of our communities.”

Vinod Patel, the lead Pharmacist at Bradshaw Street Pharmacy, said: “We were delighted to welcome Ms Nandy and explain more about the vital contribution that community pharmacy is making to local people’s health.  People often don’t realise how much we do on top of dispensing medicine – we’re a key part of the local NHS, working with GPs, our patients and customers, care homes, social care, hospitals and other healthcare providers.

“People can pop in and see us any time without an appointment for expert care and advice, and with any health queries or concerns.”

Bruce Prentice, Wigan Locality Lead at Greater Manchester Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said: “Pharmacies are the ideal first port of call for healthcare support and advice.  Many are also open extended hours, six or seven days a week, and they are conveniently located close to people’s homes and work places.  There is no need to book an appointment and, with GPs and hospitals under increasing strain, pharmacies are the best place to seek care for most coughs, colds and minor ailments.”

January 30, 2017 By : Category: News Print