Assembly Member and candidate for Newport East, John Griffiths, has visited Martin Davies Chemist on Caerleon Road, Newport, to hear about the positive benefits community pharmacy can bring to people in the constituency.
Pharmacist Martin Davies welcomed Mr Griffiths to his pharmacy and outlined that as the first port of call for patients and the public, community pharmacy allows people to see a health professional in a convenient place and at a convenience time.
Mr Davies said “Pharmacy offers a range of services in the heart of the community that many people may not be aware of. As well as ensuring that all medicines dispensed or sold over the counter are being used safely and correctly, the community pharmacy also offers a private consultation room where patients can speak to their pharmacist about their health and medicines. People who take regular medicines can have their medication reviewed by their pharmacist. As well as giving expert advice on medicines, we can help with many health issues, supporting people who want to stop smoking for instance and offering advice on healthy living”.
Mr Griffiths also spoke to Mike Curson and Ross Gregory, representatives from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, about the important role pharmacy plays in reducing pressures on GP and hospital services. One of the advantages of community pharmacy is that support is available locally without the need for an appointment. Many minor ailments such as ear ache, conjunctivitis and mild forms of eczema can be treated by a local pharmacist without the need for a GP appointment or a visit to Accident and Emergency department. People with chronic conditions such as asthma can also get advice from their pharmacist about the correct use of their inhaler and people with diabetes can their blood sugar levels reviewed.
It was outlined to Mr Griffiths that people with chronic conditions could also benefit from having a pharmacist-led service to help manage their medicines for their condition. Mr Griffiths heard that most patients will seek advice from their GP about the medicines they are taking for their chronic condition but pharmacists could help patients and their GP colleagues by providing this support if the right service was put in place in the future.
Commenting on the visit Mr Griffiths said “Community pharmacy is an important part of our health care system. It offers so much to people and we need to ensure that patients and the public are informed about the pharmacy services they can benefit from. We need to get more from our local pharmacies to ensure people can see a health professional quickly and to reduce pressures on GPs and other parts of the NHS”.