Big interview: Katy Jackson, head of prescribing and medicines commissioning for Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group

Big interview: Katy Jackson, head of prescribing and medicines commissioning for Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group

Big interview: Katy Jackson, head of prescribing and medicines commissioning for Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group

First published in News

THE ARGUS (TA): How many pharmacists are there in the city and how easy is it to find one that is open in the evenings, at weekends and on holidays?

KATY JACKSON (KJ): There are 60 pharmacies and their opening hours are all listed on NHS Choices visit www.nhs.uk/service-search You put in your postcode and ask for pharmacies and it shows you a list of your nearest pharmacies and their opening hours.

TA: The traditional image of the role of the pharmacist is somewhere to go to get a prescription or pick up something to help with a cold but this has changed significantly in recent years. What kind of services can you expect to find at your local chemist now?

KJ: Pharmacies do much more than prescriptions. They can provide advice on minor injuries and illnesses and help you decide whether you need to see a doctor.

They offer over the counter medicines and advice on bugs and viruses, minor injuries, aches and pains, skin conditions, allergies and children’s problems.

They also provide emergency contraception. You do not have to make an appointment and some are open late. Many have private consultation areas and anything you discuss with a pharmacist is completely confidential.

TA: When would it be better to see a pharmacist instead of going to A&E or visiting your GP?

KJ: Any minor ailments can usually be dealt with by a pharmacist; that might include a temperature, coughs and colds, if you don’t feel your medication is working as it should or if you’re not sure how and when you should be taking it. To find out more about when to go to a pharmacist visit www.wecouldbeheroes.nhs.uk TA: Why are health authorities urging more people to consider visiting a pharmacist in the city?

KJ: We know that our health system is under pressure, particularly in the winter when more and more people need medical help and advice.

We want to make sure people are using the right parts of the system at the right time for them to get the best treatment, whether that be pharmacists, GPs, walk in centres or A&E.

Pharmacists are a vital part of this system and can often help where someone might have gone to their GP or hospital.

TA: How can pharmacists contribute to helping people in the community live more healthily?

KJ: Pharmacists can help give great advice on how to stop yourself becoming ill and to catch illness in its early stages.

This includes advice on healthy living such as exercise, eating, sexual health advice, and stopping smoking. They can give you your flu jab, advise on how to take care of common childhood illnesses and how to take your medicine. They can also offer signposting to other health groups and organisations.

TA: How long does a pharmacist train for and what qualifications do they have?

KJ: Pharmacists must be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

For this, they need to carry out a five-year programme of education and training and successfully complete all of the following: l Four years study at a school of pharmacy approved by the GPhC to complete a masters in pharmacy degree (MPharm) l Work-experience totalling one year, in a clinical setting (known as pre-registration training) l A registration exam set by the GPhC.

TA: Are they allowed to alter a patient’s prescription in any way? What can they do if they have concerns about a patient’s repeat prescription?

KJ: No a pharmacist can’t alter a prescription but they can talk to the GP, or encourage a patient to talk to their GP, if they have concerns or questions about what they have been prescribed.

TA: Is winter a particularly busy time for pharmacists and what are the usual types of ailments they see at this time of year?

KJ: Yes, as with the rest of the health system, winter is a time when many people suffer from coughs and colds, flu and winter vomiting. If you need advice for you, or a friend, neighbour or relative, talk to your pharmacist as they should be able to help or point you in the right direction.

TA: What type of support can pharmacists provide for elderly and frail patients, who tend to need more medication and support than the younger generation to help them avoid having to be admitted to hospital?

KJ: Pharmacists can offer reviews on the medicines people may be using, particularly where a person is on a lot of different medicines, they can help manage long term conditions, monitor blood pressure and they offer prescription and medicine delivery to help people who struggle to get to the pharmacist.

TA: What help can younger people get from their pharmacist?

KJ: Similarly pharmacists are a great tool for younger people who would like advice on healthy living, sexual health advice, contraception, stopping smoking and managing long term conditions.

TA: How do you see the role of the pharmacist developing in the future?

KJ: We would like to see the role of |the pharmacist continuing to manage more minor ailments and long term conditions and public health |campaigns and promoting self-care and community care to help people to help support and manage their own conditions and deal with minor illnesses or complaints.

Comments (2)

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10:23am Sun 5 Jan 14

We're up here says...

Interesting and informative. I didn't know pharmacists could so much.
Interesting and informative. I didn't know pharmacists could so much. We're up here
  • Score: 9

4:09pm Sun 5 Jan 14

rolivan says...

I would trust a Pharmacist far more than a Doctor now . All they seem to do is put your symptoms into a P.C and wait to see what it recommends.
I would trust a Pharmacist far more than a Doctor now . All they seem to do is put your symptoms into a P.C and wait to see what it recommends. rolivan
  • Score: 4

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