This afternoon, I visited Fishers Pharmacy in Enmore Road, South Norwood to learn more about the work community pharmacists do to keep people healthy.
Pharmacist, Alan Kurtz, who has run Fishers for more years than he cares to remember, gave me a guided tour. I met some of the 30-dd staff Alan employs and had my his blood pressure taken (it was down - the diet is paying off!), part of an NHS Health Check available in pharmacies around the country.
I was interested to see the range of additional public health services available to patients, including sexual health advice and Emergency Hormonal Contraception. I also heard how pharmacies increasingly provide ongoing care for patients with long-term conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Overall, I was hugely impressed with the range of services available. Pharmacies are highly accessible to the public and can help reduce pressures on other areas of the NHS. They clearly have the potential to make an even greater contribution.