VIDEO: Short film encourages patients to use pharmacies to reduce pressures on NHS

Dr David Egan, a GP from Debenham and a Suffolk clinical commissioning group member, at Woolpit Health Centre where part of the film was shot.
Dr David Egan, a GP from Debenham and a Suffolk clinical commissioning group member, at Woolpit Health Centre where part of the film was shot.

A short film has been produced to encourage residents to make greater use of pharmacies to help reduce the burden on NHS services.

Shot at Woolpit Health Centre and Station Pharmacy, in Elmswell, it explains the benefits of making the most of pharmacy services including freeing up more money for patient care.

Among those who feature in the video is Dr David Egan, a GP from Debenham and a Suffolk clinical commissioning group member.

Speaking at Woolpit Health Centre, he noted that a campaign to persuade patients to buy their own paracetomal over the counter instead of through a prescription had saved around £200,000 in the east Suffolk area.

He said: “Pharmacists can contact their local GPs to discuss patients or medication matters with them, and they can help with many of the medication queries that patients may have.

“It’s estimated that 10 per cent of a GP’s time may be taken up dealing with medication matters, that could be dealt with by a pharmacist.”

Paul Heeks, pharmacist at Station Pharmacy, in Elsmwell, said that he was seeing more people making use of pharmacy services.

He added that GP practices are often ‘clogged up’ dealing with minor ailments.

“Those kinds of things don’t need the doctor, they can be treated quite nicely over the counter. We can give you the advice that you need.

“In this kind of environment where it’s a relatively small village as compared to a big town, people are using their pharmacist more because we’re really accessible.

“You don’t need an appointment.”