People across Corby are benefitting from a new pilot scheme which has been rolled out across the East Midlands. The Digital Minor Illness Referral Service (DMIRS) enables NHS 111 call handlers to transfer patients with minor health conditions to a local pharmacy for advice and treatment.
Over 550 local pharmacies across the East Midlands are taking part and 14 of these are in Corby.
Pallavi Dawda, Local Professional Network Chair and DMIRS Project Manager for the East Midlands, said: “When we get sick, many of us don't think about contacting a pharmacist. Thanks to this new service, patients contacting NHS111 for advice can be directed to a pharmacist that will be expecting them, meaning that they can get the right treatment close to home.
“Patient feedback from a similar service introduced in the North East has been very good and we are pleased to be able to offer this in the East Midlands, to make a positive difference to patient care in our area.”
This announcement comes as health leaders across Corby are urging people to use their local pharmacy team for advice and guidance on minor health conditions, such as tummy troubles, aches or pains, a cold or cough, this winter.
NHS England launched their Help Us Help You Pharmacy Advice campaign earlier this month. The campaign aims to promote the skills and expertise of local pharmacy teams. Every pharmacist is trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice.
Pharmacists train for five years before they qualify and register with the professional regulator and some also have an additional prescribing qualification.
Matthew Davies Medical Director of NHS Corby and NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “Community pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals who can offer a fast and convenient clinical service. No appointment is needed.
"We understand that people are living increasingly busy lives so urge people to use their local pharmacy team. From advice on how best to deal with your child's cold, to guidance on your bad back – they can help.”
You can find your local pharmacy here: https://beta.nhs.uk/find-a-pharmacy/
You can find a complete guide to conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do and when to get help here: https://www.nhs.uk/