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Think Self-Care for Life in Merton: Think the Pharmacist for expert health advice 

It's Self Care Week 2019 (18 – 24 November) and Merton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) wants to remind you about the health expert on the High Street – the community pharmacist.

Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals who give advice and recommend treatments for self-treatable conditions such as coughs, colds, sprains and strains.

 Merton CCG Chief Pharmacist Sedina Agama said "People go to the doctor with common ailments because they are unsure how long symptoms last and need reassurance that it isn't anything more serious.  Instead of waiting for an appointment at your surgery, consider going to your local pharmacist first.

"Pharmacists will help you choose the right treatment for your ailment and can explain how long normal symptoms will last. They can also offer you help to stop smoking, manage your weight, and can often provide flu jabs and blood pressure checks. Most pharmacies also have private consulting rooms.

"If you have a cold or flu virus it is worth remembering that antibiotics won't help. In fact, taking them can reduce their effectiveness when they're needed for ailments they can help with.''

If you have a long-term condition and are worried how common illnesses may be affecting you, or if you want advice on managing your medicines, visit your pharmacist first.

Save yourself the time of booking a GP appointment or visiting A&E. The majority of people feel comfortable managing everyday minor ailments such as coughs and colds. However, there are still 57 million GP consultations a year for minor ailments which take up, on average, an hour a day for every GP.

Think the pharmacist. Think self-care for life.