05/02/2021

Categories: Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, Undergradute

Are Community Pharmacists the New NHS Front Line?

Are Community Pharmacists the New NHS Front Line?

We live in uncertain times, particularly when it comes to health. While there is a great deal of worry and fear, there are also wonderful advances being made in healthcare. Generally, people are living healthier lives for longer than ever before. However, both new illnesses and new cures put pressure on an already pressurised NHS. Could community pharmacists be the answer?

Novel viruses like Covid-19 put pressure on our emergency and critical services and have a knock-on effect in other areas. An ageing population and one that takes greater general risks with its health puts different strains on a service that is there for everyone from the cradle to the grave. There are many things that individuals are asked to do to try and reduce these pressures. One such thing is making better use of community pharmacists.

Community pharmacists in Great Manchester and the North West, as their name suggests, have always been an essential part of keeping the community healthy and informed. However, in recent years they have taken on several new roles and services that have made them the new NHS front line.

Pharmacists are well trained and hold a Biomedical Science degree or similar certification in the biological and biomedical sciences. They provide much-needed advice on medicines and common ailments and provide health screening and needle exchanges. This takes an inordinate amount of pressure off GPs and community nurses. They also often offer medicine delivery services, repeat prescription services, and advice on referrals to other community services.

But it is not just the pharmacist that provides knowledge and expertise. Pharmacy assistants are also well-trained and have often undertaken Clinical and Biomedical Science courses, providing much-needed support for the pharmacist and those using the services. A well-run local pharmacy can support the health service, reduce the need for hospitalisation, and catch illnesses before they become critical. While a biomedical degree is a must, so is the ability to listen, a willingness to understand, and the patience to get to know those using the services you provide.

 

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