Live Self Care for Life: Think the Pharmacist for expert health advice

Live Self Care for Life: Think the Pharmacist for expert health advice

It’s Self Care Week 2020 (16 – 22 November) and Northamptonshire CCG wants to remind you of the health expert on the High Street – the community pharmacist.

Every day our community pharmacies deliver exceptional care, advice, and support with no appointment necessary and help patients 'live self care for life.'  

Pharmacies are open as usual, so do not be afraid to seek help if you are worried and need advice or symptom relief. 

Dr Joanne Watt, GP Chair and local GP said: “People contact their GP practice with common minor illnesses because they are unsure how long symptoms can be expected to last and need reassurance that it isn’t anything more serious. Instead of contacting your GP surgery, consider going to your local pharmacist first.

“Pharmacists will help you choose the right treatment for your situation and can explain the normal duration of symptoms. They can also offer you help to stop smoking, manage your weight, and can often provide flu jabs and blood pressure checks. You can also get advice on useful medical equipment that you may wish to buy and keep at home such as thermomenters and blood pressure cuffs. Many pharmacies also have private consulting rooms.

“If you have a cold or flu virus it is worth remembering that antibiotics won’t help. In fact, taking them can reduce their effectiveness when they’re needed for ailments they can help with. Please also remember that if you have symptoms that might suggest you have COVID-19 (cough, fever, loss of taste or smell) then you can self-care by accessing a swab test by calling 119 or going to the NHS website.”

If you have a long term condition and are worried how common ailments may be affecting you, or if you want advice on managing your medicines, visit your pharmacist first.

Anne-Marie King, Local Pharmaceutical Committee Chief Officer, adds: “It’s never been more vital to take steps to protect your physical health and mental wellbeing. If you have a long term condition, you might need advice on how winter ailments can affect you. Speak to your pharmacist if you are concerned. Remember antibiotics don’t help with viruses such as sore throat and cough. Get advice from the pharmacist.” 

Follow these small steps to a healthier you:

  • Get active; advice is to exercise for at least twenty minutes a day, it’s ideal if you can incorporate this into your day by ditching the car and walking to work, or walking the dog, taking the stairs or even dancing around the kitchen table to your favourite songs!
  • Eat well. We all know that healthy eating is crucial to our health so we can start by swapping unhealthy snacks for healthy options such as nuts, seeds and fruit. Ask your pharmacist for advice on managing your weight.
  • Make positive changes! Take steps to stop those bad habits that don’t serve you well. This Self Care Week make a plan to stop smoking, reduce your alcohol intake and get active! Your pharmacist can help with lifestyle changes such as weight management and stop smoking services.
  • A good’s night’s sleep is as essential to our health and wellbeing as eating healthily and exercising so, make sure you get the recommended 7-8 hours a night!
  • Stop! These days we lead such busy lives that we sometimes forget to slow down and stop. Find time in your day to just quieten your mind. Mindfulness or yoga might be helpful.

You can find further information about self-care, including advice on managing a number of minor ailments and illnesses, in the winter section of Northamptonshire CCG website at