‘Think Pharmacy First’ when seeking help for summer conditions say county health leaders

24 June 2024

With pollen count changes and the weather warming up, health leaders at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are advising residents to ‘Think Pharmacy First’ to ease the symptoms of summer-related conditions such as hay fever and insect bites, as well as protecting yourself from the sun.

During the last 12 months, the local NHS has prescribed over 100,000 items to patients to treat hay fever or other minor allergies, costing over £430,000. However, these items are easily and cheaply available over the counter at community pharmacies, supermarkets and high street stores, and often much cheaper than a prescription.

With 81 community pharmacies dotted across the county, local pharmacy teams are qualified health professionals who offer expert advice and can recommend treatments to ease the symptoms of a variety of minor illnesses.

For summer-related conditions such as hay fever, the best treatments include antihistamine tablets, nasal sprays or eye drops: for insect bites, repellents, antihistamines and soothing creams, as well as sunscreen and after sun for hotter summer days.

Under the new ‘Pharmacy First’ scheme, which was launched earlier this year, community pharmacies can now provide even more help to residents, including advice and treatment for sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bites, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women.

Hatim Adamjee, Pharmacist at Hollinswood Pharmacy in Telford said: “With the summer months upon us, there will be plenty of people popping in for help with common conditions. Our doors are open, and the pharmacy team is happy to help.

“You don’t need a prescription for hay fever or insect bite medication, or indeed any of the conditions within the Pharmacy First scheme. So, I would always recommend anyone looking for help for minor illnesses to pop into their local pharmacy before going to the GP, as we can offer support and treatment quickly and easily.”

Minesh Parbat, Chief Pharmacist for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS) said: “With the new Pharmacy First service entering its first summer, this exciting new scheme will hopefully shine an even brighter light on community pharmacies and their increasingly important role within community settings and patient access to NHS services.

“Pharmacy First is an important new service which has been taken up by all 81 pharmacies across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and is already having a positive impact. More so than ever, community pharmacies can help residents with a range of illnesses, often without the need for an appointment. I would encourage everyone to always ‘Think Pharmacy First’.”

To find a pharmacy local to you, please visit: Find a pharmacy - NHS (www.nhs.uk).

To read more information about the new Pharmacy First service, please visit: Think ‘Pharmacy First’ – New Advanced Pharmacy Service Now Available Across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

Page last updated 24 June 2024