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What to expect from your pharmacist

Pharmacists play a key role in providing quality healthcare. They are experts in medicines and will use their clinical expertise, together with their practical knowledge to advise you on problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains, as well as healthy eating and stopping smoking.

Pharmacists can also help you decide whether you need to see a health professional. They can help you consider the alternatives next time you are thinking of making a doctor's appointment. You can always call NHS 111, which will help you find the right NHS service. Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals. Before becoming a pharmacist they will have completed a four year university degree and have worked for a year.

All pharmacists have to be registered with the regulatory body for pharmacy professionals, the General Pharmaceutical Council. As well as working in hospitals, community pharmacies and the pharmaceutical industry, you can find pharmacists working in a variety of places, such as in prisons, teaching and research facilities, and the military. Pharmacists dispense and check prescriptions and provide advice to patients on the medicines that have been prescribed for them, for example, providing advice on how to take the medicines and advising on common side effects.

Community pharmacists will take back medicines that are no longer required so they can be disposed of correctly, and they can also provide advice on minor illnesses and staying healthy.

John Smith

Head pharmacist

If you have a long-term condition and you have been prescribed a new medicine for the first time, you may want to ask your pharmacist for the New Medicine Service. The pharmacist will then explain everything you need to know about your new medicine, including how to take it and advise you about any common side-effects. To ensure you're provided with the right medicine (including non-prescription medicines) and/or advice, the pharmacist may ask you a range of questions.


Jessica H. Wheaton
3 days ago

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John H. White
1 day ago

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Tamara H. Jackson