People across the Highlands & Islands have been encouraged to visit their community pharmacy for advice and support to treat minor illnesses or common conditions, after a new NHS Pharmacy First Scotland service was launched earlier this week.
Local SNP MSP, Maree Todd (pictured), has said the new service will allow community pharmacies to give people expert help for treating conditions such as sore throats, earache and cold sores, along with common clinical conditions such as Urinary Tract Infections.
Pharmacy teams will offer advice, treatment or referral to other healthcare teams if required.
The move will allow Highland & Island residents to access the right care without having to visit their GP pharmacy or an A&E department for non-urgent treatment.
A&E departments remain open for emergency care – with the necessary public health measures in place to protect staff and patients.
Commenting, Maree Todd MSP for Highlands & Islands, and pharmacist by profession, said:
“The launch of NHS Pharmacy First Scotland means that people in the Highlands & Islands and across Scotland, will get the right care and medical support closer to home – often with no waiting time or appointments needed.
“In recent months, perhaps more than ever, the NHS has been there to protect us – but many of us don’t need to visit A&E to get the care we need.
“This new service will provide a local approach to ensure the community has access to healthcare for more minor ailments.
“Let’s remember though – in an emergency you should always contact 999 or go to your nearest accident and emergency department.”
Chair of Community Pharmacy Scotland Martin Green said:
“NHS Pharmacy First Scotland is an exciting service development for everyone.
“It recognises the role that the community pharmacy network can play in helping patients and the wider NHS team by ensuring people get the right care in the right place.
“Pharmacists, supported by their pharmacy teams, will be able to offer consultations for anyone with minor illnesses and provide the appropriate advice and support.”