Location: West Midlands
Location: North West England
Location: East Midlands
Location: North East England
Local pharmacists may be one of the best sources for advice about minor medical problems during cold and flu season, according to Solihull NHS Care Trust.
With hospitals and emergency services experiencing "unprecedented" levels of demand in the West Midlands last weekend, Dr Patrick Brooke, the trust's medical director, asserted that resources are often stretched during the winter months.
Dr Brook explained that while many calls received by the region's hospital and emergency services were genuine, several of them could have been resolved using other NHS services.
He added that for minor enquiries, pharmacists may be able to offer valuable information, such as options for flu and cold remedies and advice on other minor ailments.
Meanwhile, New Zealand's Pharmacy Guild recently released a study in which community pharmacists were found to be a "superior source" of quality health advice when compared to other health providers.
According to Annabel Young, chief executive of the guild, these findings are particularly relevant during the holiday season when many people are away from their local health care providers.
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