SYMPTOMS IN THE PHARMACY


Every working day, people come to the community pharmacy for advice about minor ailments and symptoms. Recent research found that the proportion of general practice and emergency department (ED) consultations for minor ailments potentially suitable for management in community pharmacy was around 13 and 5%, respectively. Encouraging self-care is a good thing, and with increasing pressure on doctors’ and nurses’ workload, it is likely that the community pharmacy will be even more widely used as a first port of call for minor illness. There are often local initiatives to encourage this. Members of the public present to pharmacists and their staff in a number of ways, which include

This is the eighth edition of our book and appears 28 years after the first. Dr Martin Duerden has joined us as co-author and we wish Dr Paul Paxton well in his retirement. Paul was instrumental in the original development of the ideas and format for the book and made a major contribution over the years. The update in this edition comes at an exciting time for pharmacists in the United Kingdom with increasing emphasis on their clinical role. 

Among the changes in this new edition are

  • A more explicit emphasis on the evidence base for ‘over-the-counter’ medicines and a clearer explanation of the book’s approach and evidence sources
  • A visual display of the guidelines, systematic reviews and other reliable sources of information used to update the book
  • Greater highlighting of ‘red flag’ symptoms/signs and explanation of their significance
  • A reworked Introduction with consideration of
  • how community pharmacy teams fit within a changing NHS landscape as a source of first contact care
  • increasing digital integration of community pharmacies into wider primary care
  • New sections on Erectile Dysfunction and Malaria Prevention to reflect recent 

·      

As for previous editions, we have received positive and constructive feedback and suggestions from pharmacists (undergraduate students, pre-registration trainees and practising pharmacists) as well as formal reviewers and have tried to act on your suggestions. We have continued to add more accounts by patients to our case studies. We thank all the pharmacists who sent us comments and we hope you like the new edition.

We once again thank Kathryn Coates and her network of mums, who provided advice on the sort of concerns and queries that they hope their pharmacists can answer.

 

Every working day, people come to the community pharmacy for advice about minor ailments and symptoms. Recent research found that the proportion of general practice and emergency department (ED) consultations for minor ailments potentially suitable for management in community pharmacy was around 13 and 5%, respectively. Encouraging self-care is a good thing, and with increasing pressure on doctors’ and nurses’ workload, it is likely that the community pharmacy will be even more widely used as a first port of call for minor illness. There are often local initiatives to encourage this. Members of the public present to pharmacists and their staff in a number of ways, which include


SYMPTOMS IN THE PHARMACY



In this book we refer to the people seeking advice about symptoms as patients. It is important to recognise that many of these patients will in fact be healthy people. We use the word ‘patient’ because we feel that the terms ‘customer’ and ‘client’ do not capture the nature of consultations about health. Pharmacists are skilled and knowledgeable about medicines and about the likely causes of illness. In the past the approach has been to see the pharmacist as expert and the patient as beneficiary of the pharmacist’s information and advice. But patients are not blank sheets or empty vessels. They have choices to make and they are experts in their own and their children’s health. The patient



How to Use This Book

Every working day, people come to the community pharmacy for advice about minor ailments and symptoms. Recent research found that the proportion of general practice and emergency department (ED) consultations for minor ailments potentially suitable for management in community pharmacy was around 13 and 5%, respectively. Encouraging self-care is a good thing, and with increasing pressure on doctors’ and nurses’ workload, it is likely that the community pharmacy will be even more widely used as a first port of call for minor illness. There are often local initiatives to encourage this. Members of the public present to pharmacists and their staff in a number of ways, which include

  • Requesting advice about symptoms and appropriate treatment
  • Asking to purchase a named medicine
  • Requiring general health advice (e.g. about dietary supplements)
  • Asking about effects/symptoms perceived to relate to prescribed medicines

The pharmacist’s role in responding to symptoms and overseeing the sale of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines is substantial and requires a mix of knowl-edge and skills in diseases and their treatment. In addition, pharmacists are responsible for ensuring that their staff provide appropriate advice and recom-mendations. Key skills are as follows:

  • Differentiation between minor and more serious symptoms
  • Listening skills
  • Questioning skills
  • Treatment choices based on evidence of effectiveness
  • The ability to pass these skills on by acting as a role model for other pharmacy staff

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