NHS GLOUCESTERSHIRE has reminded residents to “think pharmacy first” to alleviate some of the pressure on NHS hospitals. 

The “Think Pharmacy First” campaign was launched in February, and it aims to get people to use the pharmacy services, rather than the hospital, if they can.

Things such as insect bites can be treated by a pharmacist. Taking to their social media, NHS Gloucestershire said today (May 3): “Insect bite? If needed, your pharmacist can now provide treatment and some prescription medicine without seeing a GP. Think pharmacy first.”

Other treatments and medicines from local pharmacies include those for sinusitis, sore throat, earache, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections.

Dr Claire Fuller, NHS England medical director for primary care, said: “The changes that the NHS has made to community pharmacy services mean that people now have a new easy and convenient way of managing and treating many common illnesses.

“Pharmacists have always provided continuity and long-term support to patients, families, and carers – so, this is a safe and common-sense way of making the NHS easier for patients to use, and the change has been very well received by patients already”.

“This important campaign will help people understand the new level of support that pharmacies can offer”.

More details about the campaign and how pharmacies can help can be found online.