Your Local Community Pharmacies – under threat!
Local Pharmacies are natural professional partners to your GP surgery and all their staff. This long established and trusted working relationship is not embedded in any strict NHS contract between Doctors and Pharmacists – it relies on your continued support as patients who live and work locally.
Community Pharmacies can now deliver some additional services such as urgent medicine supplies when patients run out of their regular drugs unexpectedly. They can also receive urgent care attention at a Pharmacy for certain illnesses when a GP appointment cannot be easily booked or an attendance at A&E at the local hospital looks like the only option, particularly at weekends. These services can be accessed by ringing NHS 111 who will liaise with your local Pharmacy on your behalf. Pharmacies can also offer NHS face-to-face medicines reviews and structured advice for patients who have been prescribed a new medicine. Pharmacies also work in tandem with GP surgeries to provide patients with Flu vaccinations. Pharmacies have delivered this service privately for many years now but more recently, all patients who are eligible for a free NHS vaccination can now choose between their GP and their Pharmacy.
Patients should note carefully that an Internet Pharmacy cannot and will not be able to offer you these face-to-face services. We suggest that you think very carefully when you nominate the pharmacy of your choice for all your prescription medicines. If you choose to send your prescriptions to an online Internet Pharmacy by nominating that Pharmacy as your choice, you risk losing your local option. Every prescription drug that is supplied by post is one that by-passes the Pharmacies in your neighbourhood and that will eventually weaken beyond repair, the ability of local Pharmacies to provide you with any service. An Internet Pharmacy cannot and will never provide you with an urgent drug or medicine – you have to wait for the postman. That cannot be right for every occasion you may need a medicine.