Jenny Rathbone, Welsh Labour candidate for the Cardiff Central constituency, has been hearing about the vital role pharmacy plays in the community she has been representing as an Assembly Member for the past five years.
At a recent visit to Clifton Pharmacy, Ms Rathbone met Sudhir Sehrawat, pharmacist and owner of the pharmacy, and heard about the wide range of services that community pharmacy can offer to patients. It was outlined that the pharmacy plays an incredibly important role in checking all medicines dispensed and sold over the counter. These checks help to keep patients safe and ensure they are taking the right medicines.
Commenting on the role of pharmacy, Mr Sehrawat said “Community pharmacies dispense and sell a high volume of medicines and it is vital that those medicines are appropriate for the patient and are taken correctly. The pharmacy team will advise on the correct use of medicines and answer any questions the patient may have”.
During the visit it was also outlined that community pharmacy offers a number of services in addition to the important dispensing role. Most pharmacies have a private consultation room where patients can see a pharmacist and discuss any concerns they may have in total confidence. Supporting patients to take their medicines as intended is an important part of the pharmacist’s role. Patients with asthma for example can get advice from their pharmacist about their inhaler technique which helps them get the most from their medication. Jenny learnt that his support can also help the NHS achieve value for money from the use of inhalers, which can cost up to £60 each.
During the visit Ms Rathbone praised the local pharmacy team for their role in supporting people in their own homes. Mr Sehrawat said “We deliver medicines to patients who are unable to get to the pharmacy. It is during those visits that we can pick up on any signs of poor health or any other issues that may be of concern. The team are trained to look for any problems or concerns which can be addressed or flagged up with their GP. Working in this way can help to prevent the deterioration of people’s health and can prevent emergency admissions to hospital. In the same way the team can also pick up on any concerns among the regular visitors to the pharmacy that they have come to know very well”.
Commenting on the visit, Jenny Rathbone said “It was a pleasure to meet Sudhir Sehrawat and to hear about the dedication of the Clifton Pharmacy team to caring for people in the community. Pharmacies offer a number of services which people may not be aware of, including flu vaccinations, medicines use reviews, and support for quitting smoking. We need to do more to make use of these professional skills and make sure people are fully aware of the support they can get from their local pharmacy. It would also relieve pressure on GP appointments so it makes sense all round”.