This year’s Ask Your Pharmacist (AYP) Week, which is organised by the NPA, takes place from 9th to 15th November 2015. During previous AYP weeks, there have been exhibitions, social media campaigns, opinion surveys by students, poster campaigns etc. to raise awareness about pharmacy as a healthcare resource. As part of AYP week, the NPA has published various videos, including one which summarises some of the services you can expect from your local pharmacy. You can also find out more about pharmacy services which are useful for men, as past AYP weeks have focused on raising awareness about men’s health.
This year, the AYP campaign aims to increase public awareness about the services offered at local pharmacies within the framework of the theme “Ask Your Pharmacist about Medicines and More”, in particular emphasising that pharmacies are more than just somewhere to pick up your regular medication and can actually offer services to help you stop smoking, maintain a healthy weight, reassess your alcohol consumption and take advantage of screening and health checks, for example chlamydia screening and blood pressure testing. Winter flu jabs are also a service offered by many local pharmacies, sometimes for free if you belong to one of the ‘at risk’ groups eligible for a free flu jab on the NHS.
The AYP campaign also provides a myth-busting information sheet about medicines and answers various other FAQs, in order to help patients be informed about their healthcare. In addition, AYP provides information to help you get to know your community pharmacy team and their roles.
It is important for patients to remember that their local pharmacy is a good first port of call for advice on many common health concerns. There are approximately 13,000 community pharmacies throughout the UK and 96% of people can access a pharmacy within 20 minutes, either on foot or using public transport. You can drop in to see your pharmacist without having to make an appointment and get advice on your medication, ailments, maintaining your health and improving your health. In light of this year’s theme, it is important for patients to remember to ask their pharmacist if they have any questions, whether about medication or broader healthcare issues! Many pharmacies now have private consultation areas where you can talk to your pharmacist.
Remember to #askyourpharmacist about Medicines And More!
For more information about the services local pharmacies can offer, check out our post on “Ten reasons why your pharmacist is useful”.