A number of community pharmacies across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire are to become known as Pharmacy Walk-in Centres on St David’s Day, 1 March 2019.
The participating pharmacies, who already offer a range of services for the public, which are now being formally recognised under this scheme.
As a minimum, the centres will provide the common ailments service, which allows the pharmacist to provide treatments to patients for a range of conditions from hay fever to head lice and eye infections to back pain. This service is provided by 93 community pharmacies in the Hywel Dda area.
Centres will also offer emergency hormonal contraception, emergency supply of medication, smoking cessation, patient sharps return service, flu vaccinations, and medicine reviews.
The well-established ‘triage and treat’ provision will also be available in some of the Walk-in Centres, with a view to all centres offering the service at a later date.
The types of low level injuries that can be treated under this service are minor abrasions, superficial cuts and wounds, eye complaints such as sand in the eye, removal of items from the skin such as a splinter or shell and minor burns including sunburn.
If the injury is too serious to be treated in the pharmacy you will be given advice about where to go.
A private high standard consulting room is also a feature of a Walk-in Centre, providing the privacy offered in a GP surgery and many are open in the evenings and on weekends.
Clunderwen community pharmacist, Ed John, whose pharmacy is participating in the scheme said: “We are excited at the prospect of becoming a Pharmacy Walk-in Centre, and the opportunities this will bring.
“Patients will be able to utilise the consultation facilities to receive advice and treatment in private without the need for an appointment.
“The pharmacies will also offer a range of enhanced services such as providing advice and treatment for common ailments, emergency supply of medication, emergency hormonal contraception and a smoking cessation service to name but a few.
“The aim is to promote community pharmacies as the first point of contact for advice and in some cases treatment, and demonstrate that community pharmacy is evolving to be more than dispensers of medication.”
Jill Paterson, Director of Primary Care, Community and Long-term Care for Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “We are very pleased to work with our colleagues in Community Pharmacy and recognise the range of enhanced services they can offer, often as a first point of contact, which has extended the role they play within Primary Care.
“It is important that we continue to inform members of the public about the Services which can be accessed at their local Community Pharmacy.
“Our Community Pharmacies do a lot more these days than simply dispense medication and in some cases they can save a trip to a GP or an Accident and Emergency Department and as you don’t have to make an appointment they offer a quick and flexible way to access healthcare.”
To see where your nearest Pharmacy Walk-in Centre is and to find out more about the services your local pharmacy offers, please visit: www.hywelddahb.wales.nhs.uk/communitypharmacy