Abermule Community Centre Strength in Community

News from Powys Teaching Health Board

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People are being encouraged to contact their local pharmacy as their first port of call for minor health concerns this winter to help Keep Wales Safe.

Around 350,000 people get help from a community pharmacy every day in Wales who access services such as advice and treatment for minor conditions, free NHS flu vaccinations, emergency contraception and the Stop Smoking service.
Dylan Jones is the pharmacist at Llanidloes Pharmacy. He says:
“Don’t wait for it to get worse. Ask us first and help us to help you. We are on hand to help advise and treat a wide range of common health concerns. It really helps to relieve some of the pressures from GP surgeries and improves patient access to medicines where appropriate.”
 
Pharmacy services in Powys are adapting to the Covid-19 crisis and now offer phone consultations as well as over the counter advice to help protect staff and patients. Video consultations are also in the process of being rolled out across the county.
Patients can access the Common Ailments Service at pharmacies which means that you can have a consultation with your pharmacist for advice and free treatment for 27 common ailments. It is available from many community pharmacists in Powys and, in some cases, is free of charge.
 
To keep things running smoothly this winter,
Amy Fjelle, pharmacist in Welshpool, has this advice about ordering prescriptions:
“We do ask that if you need prescriptions, order in advance and allow for seven days between order and collection. This helps us to make sure we have the medications and give us the time to get it ready safely.
“It’s also worth checking that you have first aid supplies and medication you need to treat common problems so that you can get better without even leaving home.”
 
Flu vaccinations are also available from most pharmacies to help meet the huge demand. As of 22 November, Powys Teaching Health Board recorded a 40% increase in vaccinations from pharmacies compared to the same period in 2019. 
Louise Cole is from Well Pharmacy in Brecon which runs one of Wales’ busiest flu vaccination programmes from a pharmacy:
“We have already undertaken around 650 vaccinations and we expect to do more than 800 this year. It helps to relieve pressure from GP surgeries but it also provides patients with more choice of appointment times which means that more vaccinations are achieved locally.”
 
Jason Carroll, Medicines Management Pharmacist at Powys Teaching Health Board explains:
“It’s important the public continues to help us, help you this winter by considering whether your local pharmacy can deal with your health concerns. We are working hard to keep services running whilst trying to keep you safe.
“We don’t always need a visit to the GP – we can often access many of the same treatments directly on our high street. Pharmacies are a key service if you are feeling unwell or have minor health concerns.”
“NHS 111 Wales is also available, all day and every day. GPs are busy but if you are worried about persistent symptoms, please don’t let your needs go unchecked. And remember, if you have Covid symptoms no matter how mild, self-isolate and book a test.”
 
Thousands of people use the NHS 111 Wales symptom checker every day in Wales. Visit
NHS 111 Wales - Check Your Symptoms.