Helping the NHS stay wellPosted in: About Valley Northern 6th September 2018
As the National Health Service (NHS) celebrated its 70th anniversary in July, Valley Northern welcomed member of parliament (MP) for Stafford, Jeremy Lefroy, to its headquarters in August to discuss what could be done to support this vital institution on a local level.
NHS England recently reported that every year 18 million GP appointments and 2.1 million visits to A&E departments are made for self-treatable conditions. This costs the health service an additional £850 million, much of which could be saved if those with minor illnesses made their local pharmacy their first port of call.
Valley Northern invited Lefroy to its offices to discuss what could be done to educate and inform the general public of the services that local pharmacies provide in an attempt to tackle these rising numbers.
“Earlier this year, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, committed half a billion pounds of new investment to transform the use of technology in the NHS, with the aim of improving productivity and patient care,” said Oliver Pittock, managing director of Valley Northern. “While this is one of the largest investments made to the NHS in recent years, more needs to be done to alleviate the pressure on local GPs and hospitals.
“The Stay Well Pharmacy campaign was launched by the NHS in February 2018 as a way of encouraging the public, particularly the parents of young children, to visit their local pharmacy for minor illnesses and ailments,” Pittock continued “Visiting your local pharmacy for advice can greatly lessen the strain placed on doctors’ surgeries and emergency departments, in turn increasing the number of pharmacy customers.
“Over the coming years there will be a significant focus on mental health and cancer treatments for the NHS, however advancements cannot be made if money is being syphoned to support conditions that can be treated elsewhere. This, combined with the rising cost of wasted medication, means that resources are not being spent where they can have the most impact.
“We were pleased that Jeremy Lefroy MP accepted our invitation to visit our office in Stafford” Pittock added. “During the meeting we discussed a number of ideas and opportunities that we will look to explore and implement over the coming months in a bid to raise awareness of the additional services that pharmacies provide to their communities, alleviating some of the strain that the NHS is under.”
“I was delighted to be able to visit Valley Northern and learn about the important work that they do,” said Jeremy Lefroy MP, Stafford Constituency. “It is vital that the public are able to access other services, such as pharmacies, as much as possible in order to reduce the impact on the NHS, especially acute services. It was interesting to hear about the schemes to publicise the available services at pharmacies and I look forward to hearing about the progress that is made.”