Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland chief executive Gerard Greene has urged people to consider going to a pharmacy for treatment and health advice this autumn and winter to alleviate pressure on the NHS.
With World Pharmacist Day launching tomorrow (September 25), Mr Greene said it was important people know what services community pharmacies provide and how easy it is to be seen by a pharmacist.
Pharmacies across Northern Ireland will be responsible for vaccinating frontline health and social care staff and the over-50s as part of an expanded flu vaccine programme.
Pharmacies will also provide a widened Pharmacy First winter ailments service including consultations, advice, treatment and referral where it is needed.
Some 350 pharmacies in the country are continuing to administer AstraZeneca Covid vaccines while 54 are providing Moderna vaccines, with more pharmacies expected to play a part and many set to deliver booster jabs.
“This World Pharmacist Day is an opportunity to showcase the range of services our community pharmacies can offer and the role they will play as a crucial, accessible part of the health service,” Mr Greene said upon a visit to Dundela Pharmacy in East Belfast with pharmacists David McCrea and Lesa McLoughlin (pictured).
“It is also a time to pay tribute to our pharmacy teams across the network and their dedicated work to all in the community who they work tirelessly for all year round.
“Remaining agile throughout the course of the pandemic, we introduced new services to meet the changing needs of the public, with the safe supply of medicines a major priority.
“Our community pharmacy network remains committed to supporting our communities and the wider health service by playing an increased role in primary healthcare ahead of what is expected to be a difficult winter period.”