Llyr Huws Griffiths, Plaid Cymru’s Assembly Member for North Wales Region recently visited Cohens Pharmacy in Colwyn Bay for a first-hand experience of how community pharmacies serve his constituents.
Mr Griffiths was welcomed to the pharmacy by Pharmacist Robert Carroll and Fiona Jones, a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Welsh Pharmacy Board who informed him of the key role that community pharmacist plays, not just a dispensers of medicines but in providing a wide range of other services to patients.
During the visit, Robert Carroll spoke of how pleased he was to get the opportunity to highlight the important work that goes on at the pharmacy highlighting that no day is the same in the pharmacy. Each day the pharmacy deals with a wide range of health issues and provides advice to patients about the best course of action on common ailments such as common colds, hay fever and conjunctivitis. People are also supported when seeking advice on healthy lifestyle choices and want to use smoking cessation service.
Mr Carroll also spoke about how the pharmacist can help people to get the most out of their medicines outlining that an important part of the pharmacist’s role is keeping patients safe when taking medicines. Conducting medicines use reviews is a big part of this. The service allows patients to meet me in a private consultation room to discuss their medicines, to understand exactly how they should be used, why they are prescribed as well as resolving any problem that they may have with them. These reviews can help to minimise any unwanted side-effects when using one or more medicines.
Patient safety was also touched upon by Fiona Jones who added “Patient safety is at the heart of what pharmacists do. With more people suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, patients are increasingly taking multiple medicines for their conditions. We are calling for the introduction of a pharmacy-led service for chronic medication to ensure patients can benefit from structured support, advice and review of their medicines from a pharmacist”