Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Don't Let Illness Ruin Your Holiday; Health Reporter HELEN RAE Discovers Why Patients in the North East Are Being Urged to Think Ahead This Summer to Ensure They Remain Fit and Well

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Don't Let Illness Ruin Your Holiday; Health Reporter HELEN RAE Discovers Why Patients in the North East Are Being Urged to Think Ahead This Summer to Ensure They Remain Fit and Well

Article excerpt

Byline: HELEN RAE

AS the holiday season approaches people in the North East are being encouraged to think pharmacy first.

Sunburn, travel sickness, diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion, insect bites, stings and malaria are just some of the common health problems holidaymakers have to face every year.

But thanks to the Think Pharmacy First scheme, symptoms can be eased without the inconvenience of having to see a GP.

A radio campaign advertising the scheme is underway on Metro Radio and will run throughout July.

Bus stands across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland will also be advertising Think Pharmacy First to remind local people that community pharmacies in their neighbourhood are a one-stop shop for summer minor ailments and illnesses.

The campaign was launched in 2009 by NHS North of Tyne, working on behalf of Newcastle Primary Care Trust (PCT), North Tyneside PCT and Northumberland Care Trust and now all the pharmacies in the area are participating. People who use the scheme have a one-to-one consultation in a private room where they can discuss their symptoms with the pharmacist, and if appropriate, collect free over-the-counter medicine for minor ailments. The scheme offers patients who qualify for free prescriptions, due to low income, the choice of going straight to their pharmacist for a consultation, advice, and if appropriate treatment.

Rebecca Lowes, pharmacist at Davison's Chemist, Front Street, Burradon, said: "People entitled to the Think Pharmacy First scheme are those on a low income or those over 60. They can pop into the pharmacy any time they need advice and tell a member of staff that they want to be seen under the Think Pharmacy First scheme.

"They can then have a private consultation just like they would at their GP surgery and find out if there is a remedy available in the pharmacy that they can have for free there and then. It's a much quicker way to get help. Certain ailments can increase with the season like hay fever in the summer months and the cold in the winter, and head lice are a problem that is present at all times of the year which many people seek treatment for. …

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