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Speak to your pharmacist to stay well this winter

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Local doctors in Birmingham and Solihull are urging patients to visit their local pharmacist this winter for advice on common health complaints to help family doctors spend more time with seriously ill patients.

Discover your local pharmacy by finding out more about the range of services on offer and the types of medical questions pharmacists can help with.

As well as dispensing prescriptions, pharmacists are there to provide free expert advice on a wide range of health issues including how to treat common complaints such as coughs and colds, flu, sore throats, earache, backache, stomach upsets and cuts and grazes.

They also often offer a wide range of additional services including smoking cessation, blood pressure, cholesterol, flu vaccinations and Body Mass Index checks.

Dr Richard Mendelsohn, a local GP and Chief Medical Officer at NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), said: “Pharmacists are highly qualified healthcare professionals who have undertaken a minimum of five years education and training; they therefore have expert knowledge on prescription and over the counter medicines.

“By visiting your local pharmacist for advice on how to prevent and treat common illnesses you will be helping to free up GP appointments for people with more complicated or serious conditions, which is especially important over the busy winter period.”

Jeff Blankley, Chair of Birmingham Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC), said: “Pharmacies offer a wide range of services and advice. Why not visit the pharmacy first, with common and minor health ailments such as coughs, colds, aches and pains? They can also support you with healthy eating and stopping smoking. You can be treated much more quickly as no appointment is needed.”

During the winter period where colds, coughs and illnesses are common, patients can get advice, treatment and medicines quickly at their local pharmacy without having to wait for a GP appointment. Many pharmacies are open seven days a week and late into the evening.

For more information on how to Stay Well this Winter and to find your local pharmacy visit https://www.nhs.uk/staywell

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