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ALL THE LATEST NEWS, VIEWS AND STORIES FROM AROUND YOUR LOCAL AREA:OCTOBER/NOVEMBER


J.W.W. ALLISON - YOUR INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY PHARMACY FREE NHS


Flu comes from a land down under! Thanks to everyone who has supported our flu vaccination service this year. At the time of writing, we are already well on the way to surpassing last year’s total, which is amazing considering our service runs until the end of March.


As you can tell, we really get into the spirit of the service and try to make getting vaccinated as pleasant an experience as possible.


Many of you will have read about or seen on the news, reports of the bad time Australia and New Zealand have been having with flu. It is thought that there has been around a 50 per cent increase in flu cases being reported to hospitals and GP’s down there and many more flu-related deaths. Scientists believe that the flu virus mutated, making the vaccine less effective than it usually is. Some media outlets have used this as an excuse to paint the flu jab as useless. Flu jabs have never been close to being completely effective but they are the best protection we have and have very few side effects, so whether you qualify for a free jab, or pay a few pounds for a private one, it’s hardly a risk.


Whilst vaccinating this season, I’ve been asked a few things that made me chuckle. From a patient asking for specific flu strains in their vaccine to being asked for a free jab as taxi drivers are surely eligible.


However, it was a letter in the Times and Star that caught my eye. It stated that our friendly service had a Disney feel to it. As much as I’d love to stick needles in you whilst playing a ‘Whole New World’ I’m no ‘Dumbo’ and fear that I’d be hearing from Mickey and Goofy’s legal team before too long.


Who’s watching who?


A new wave of pessimism has entered the world of pharmacy of late. We have established pessimisms, such as the threat of closure due to the erosion of our fees but this one was a difficult one to get our heads around.


There have been whispers for a long time that there are secretive Department of Health plans to allow elements of the current role of a pharmacist to be completed without a pharmacist being present in the pharmacy. Roles such as selling certain pharmacy-only medicines and dispensing selected prescriptions could be carried out by pharmacy technicians. These are mostly assumptions, as the meetings have been very cloak and dagger as always. Our technicians are excellent by the way, I really MUST add that.


I’m not sure where us pharmacists are supposed to be out and about ‘pharmacisting’ whilst all this is going on. Myself and Angela are wondering if this means we will be able to have a lie in, or sneak off early but then it leaves the question of who will be able to work out the idiosyncrasies of our alarm system.


I’ve worked in places where the pharmacist is not in charge of the shop as such and it has thrown up certain ‘issues’. This is not so much the case when the shop is predominantly a pharmacy but when it is a supermarket it creates some interesting scenarios.


I was once working in a large supermarket in Solihull, when I was approached by a customer services manager who had received a complaint about the pharmacy from a customer. It turned out that the customer wasn’t impressed that the assistant wouldn’t sell them three boxes of Solpadeine Max tablets.


Anyone that knows me will appreciate that as well a pharmacy degree, I possess a Masters in sarcasm, so this was playing right into my hands. After explaining the subtle differences between Codeine and a Granny Smith, I then went on to ask what the company would do if a 14-year old tried to purchase a couple of crates of Stella Artois?


Nat Mitchell


www.allisonschemist.com 31 Main Street, Cockermouth CA13 9LE


01900 822 292


WWW.THECOCKERMOUTHPOST.CO.UK Monday to Friday: 8.30am - 6.00pm and


Saturday: 8.30am - 4.00pm


Thanks to all who have benefited from our ‘drop in’ service with short waiting times and large vaccine stocks


If you are eligible for a FREE NHS flu jab then you are welcome to have it with us regardless of which GP surgery you are registered with as long as it is in the UK


THE ELIGIBLE GROUPS FOR THE 2017/18 SERVICE ARE: Those aged 65 years and over


(including those who will be 65 years by 31st March 2018)


People aged over 18 years of age with one or more of the following conditions:


• respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, COPD or bronchitis


• chronic heart disease • kidney disease • liver disease


• neurological disease, e.g. Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease, or learning disability


• diabetes of any type


• immunosuppression due to disease or treatment (such as cancer treatment)


• spleen removal or splenic dysfunction • morbid obesity • pregnant women aged 18 or over


• people living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities


• carers


• household contacts of immunocompromised individuals who are aged 18 or over


Those who are not eligible for a FREE NHS flu vaccine can receive a private vaccine for just £10.00, provided they are 12 years or over.


www.allisonschemist.com | 01900 822 292 For further information about our service please


visit our website or follow us on Facebook or Twitter 19 OCTOBER 2017 ISSUE 419 PAGE 9 FLU VACCINES


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