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Dr Messenger: Minor ailments need a dose of common sense

The government wants patients to heal themselves, but pharmacists won't be happy, says Dr Messenger

GPs and A&E departments will need to batten down the hatches – that’s if the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) is correct. Because, according to NPA research involving 2,000 patients, two in five will visit a doctor if funding cuts mean they will find it harder to access treatment for common conditions at the local pharmacy.

The trouble is, while I understand the need to use all available arguments to fight the government’s plans, I reckon the NPA have this one wrong. After all, the hatches are already battened down, effectively. On finding they’ll have to wait weeks for an appointment with their GP, or hours to reach the head of the A&E queue, many patients will simply take their cough, snuffle or tummy upset home with them. And they’ll discover that, by letting nature take its course, their cough, snuffle or tummy upset actually gets better on its own.

Which is exactly what the government must be hoping – that it’ll dawn on patients that most minor ailments don’t need a dose of anything from a pharmacist or physician, they just need a dose of common sense. And GPs and A&E doctors will be happy with that, because it’s not like we’re looking for extra work. I’m not sure you pharmacists will feel the same way, though.

 

 

Do you think self-care is appropriate for minor ailments? 

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5 Comments

Leon The Apothecary, Student

The risk of inaccessiblity is self-diagnosing, which can be stressful and difficult to undo. I am sure Pharmacist and Doctor are able to appreciate that one!

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

"And GPs and A&E doctors will be happy with that, because it’s not like we’re looking for extra work. I’m not sure you pharmacists will feel the same way, though"

As usual getting to the truth of the matter. Pharmacists lacking a substantive evidence-based clinical role looking to identify problems that don't exist so as to provide well paid solutions that are not needed. Humiliating themselves in the process by making the most tenuous of links between their role as shopkeeper and that of a genuine clinician. 

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

"...that it’ll dawn on patients that most minor ailments don’t need a dose of anything from a pharmacist or physician, they just need a dose of common sense..."

 

Well said that man !

Bet my comment gets thumbed down !

Clive Hodgson, Community pharmacist

Gets a thumbs up from me. So why have so many lost a basic “common sense” in such matters and more importantly what can be done to restore it?

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

Just watch the adverts for some well known OTC medications. A medicine for everything and OTC "training packages" sponsored by purveyors of OTC products that are risible.

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