Pharmacists play a key role in providing quality healthcare to patients. Working in the community, primary care and hospitals, they use their clinical expertise together with their practical knowledge to ensure the safe supply and use of medicines by patients and members of the public.

Pharmacists also offer advice on common problems such as coughs and colds, aches and pains, as well as healthy eating and stopping smoking. They can also help you decide whether you need to see a doctor.

You can walk into any pharmacy and ask to speak to the pharmacist. Most pharmacies now have a private consultation area where patients can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard by other members of the public.

Many pharmacies offer out of hours services through extended opening hours, rota services and on-call services.

Minor ailments they can advise on include:

  • Bugs and viruses
  • Minor injuries
  • Tummy troubles
  • Skin conditions
  • Allergies
  • Aches and pains.

Services available from local pharmacies include:

  • Emergency contraception
  • Incontinence supplies
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Stop smoking services.

Your local pharmacist can also help you be prepared for when minor illnesses or accidents strike by advising you on what to have in your home medicine cabinet, including basics such as painkillers, a thermometer, plasters and dressings,