Parents urged to think pharmacist first for minor illness in their children

A major new public health campaign urges parents to consult a pharmacist first for minor illness, instead of GP or A&E.

Research for the NHS shows just 6% of mums and dads with children under the age of five would consider seeking help about a minor health concern from a high street pharmacist in the first instance. More than a third (35%) would opt for an appointment with their GP while 5% of those questioned would choose emergency care as their first point of call. Around 95% of people live within a 20 minute walk of a local community pharmacy, making pharmacists extremely accessible and a valuable first port of call for minor health concerns such as coughs, colds, tummy troubles or teething.

Dr Bruce Warner, Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England said: “Pharmacists are highly trained NHS health professionals who are able to offer clinical advice and effective treatments for a wide range of minor health concerns right there and then. They can assess symptoms and recommend the best course of treatment or simply provide reassurance, for instance when a minor illness will get better on its own with a few days’ rest. However, if symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, they have the right clinical training to ensure people get the help they need. We want to help the public get the most effective use of these skilled clinicians who are available every day of the week.”