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Around 40,000 people across Medway are diagnosed with high blood pressure, and the NHS believes many more may not know they suffer.

NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) predicts there may be as many as 65,000 people in total with high blood pressure across the Medway towns and is urging people to get tested and ‘know their numbers’. Read More

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Don’t spend your bank holiday in A&E – that’s the advice from GPs, who are inviting patients to ensure they use the medical service that can help them best over the bank holiday weekend. More

NHS Kent and Medway is reminding people to make sure they have enough medication to last them over Christmas and New Year, and pick up repeat prescriptions in plenty of time if they need them. It is also a good idea to check on medicine cabinet essentials now, such as over-the-counter cough, cold, flu and indigestion remedies, plasters and a thermometer, to avoid running out over the festive season.

While there is pharmacy cover on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day (full details below), it is much easier to be prepared. More

Did you know that community pharmacies offer many more services than most people realise? Health checks for blood pressure and cholesterol, treatment for minor ailments from coughs and colds to tummy bugs, help with allergies, weight management and stopping smoking, personalised medicines advice and much much more.

As part of Ask Your Pharmacist Week (5-12 November), Medway Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging people to make use of the wide range of services and advice available at their community pharmacy – it really is more than just a place to pick up pills!

Across Kent and Medway, there are 314 pharmacies in towns and villages. Many pharmacies are open late – some until 11pm at night – and at weekends, and you don’t need an appointment. By visiting your pharmacist instead of going to your GP surgery or Accident and Emergency (A & E), you will be seen quickly. It’s a much more convenient alternative and keeps other NHS services such as A & E, available for people with serious and life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

Community pharmacists are knowledgeable healthcare professionals who are accessible to everyone. They offer expert, confidential advice and treatment and can also support people to self-care, helping you to manage a long-term health condition, such as asthma or arthritis. If you regularly take prescription medicine, you can ask for a medicines use review to identify any problems and check your medication is working for you.

A number of pharmacies across Kent and Medway will, within the next month, provide specialist in-store services and expert advice, branded as a ‘Healthy Living Pharmacy.’ Kent and Medway has become one of 20 successful national pathfinder sites to offer people an extended healthy living service for issues such as alcohol consumption, sexual health and dietary advice.

Medway Clinical Commissioning Group is also reaching out to men this November, to take a more active interest in their medicines and well-being and to talk to their local pharmacist about some of the healthcare services they may need. More

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