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Pharmacies can ease your pain this Easter

​​Mark Stone says pharmacies offer a wide range of services for patients​
With Devon’s NHS facing a busy time ahead of the Easter bank holidays, pharmacies are the place for people to go for minor ailments.

GP practices and A&E departments are often under even more pressure at this time of year, but pharmacies can take the strain from people with aches and pains, a sore throat, coughs, colds, flu, earache and skin rashes.

Pharmacies are open until late and at weekends, people don’t need an appointment, and most pharmacies have a confidential consulting area.

Mark Stone, pharmacist at the Devon Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said that pharmacies should be the first port of call for anyone who has concerns about their health but isn’t quite sure if they need to see a GP. 

He added: “Pharmacists are medicines experts who can provide people with knowledge to help them get the best out of their medicines, as well as advice on common health conditions, like coughs, cold, flu, indigestion, headaches, high temperature.

“Pharmacies are very local and accessible, and are usually open late at night. Most have a private consultation room, so people can have a private conversation about the condition they’re suffering with.

“Some pharmacies offer services for conditions that people would usually see their doctor for and require prescription to have treated. These include urinary tract infections, bacterial eye infections, mild skin infections and for babies with nappy rash. 

“Many pharmacies in Devon are also able to speak to you about how to stay healthy – for example, helping you give up smoking, eating a good diet and exercising.”

Local pharmacy opening hours during the bank holiday weekend can be checked here​.