Public still failing to exploit pharmacy as first point of call
New research from the PAGB shows that people are still visiting aÂ doctor instead of a pharmacist for self-treatable conditions.
It shows that a third of people (32%) visit the doctor for seasonal conditions like sore throats, with some even exaggerating the severity of their symptoms to fast-track an appointment.Â
John Smith, chief executive of PAGB believes more needs to be done to change people's behaviour.Â Â â€œWith peak cold and flu season now upon us, it is crucial people have a better understanding of when they should visit their GP or A&E, and when advice and treatment from a local pharmacist would be more appropriate," he said.Â "This would save the individual time and could also free up an appointment for someone who really needs it.â€
The survey found that a quarter of people (24%) said they need more education about how to identify and treat common self-treatable conditions and 28% said a better understanding of the pharmacistâ€™s qualifications would help them feel more confident to trust their advice. Nearly half (49%) said they would be more likely to visit a pharmacist, instead of a GP, if they knew how much time and money it could save them.
Community pharmacist and secretary of the North East London Pharmaceutical Committee, Hemant PatelÂ commented: â€œThe research findings highlight the need for greater awareness of the benefits community pharmacies can offer to them.â€Â