• Call
  • 0208 123 0703

The NPA’s ‘See You Sooner’ Campaign Aims to Relieve Pressure on the NHS

Posted Tuesday 15 May 2018 09:59 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

Are pharmacies the answer to the NHS crisis?

The NHS deals with over 1 million patients every 36 hours, and this number seems only set to rise. The total number of people visiting Accident & Emergency departments in 2017 was 23.372 million, which marks a rise of almost a quarter (23.5 per cent) over the last decade. NHS spending has also risen hugely in recent years. In 2017, net expenditure was £120.512 billion, which has increased from £78.881 billion in 2007.

It is clear from figures such as these that there is a huge amount of pressure on the NHS. This has led to a chronic access problem, meaning patients are having to wait for extended lengths of time to receive advice, diagnoses and treatment.

So what is the solution? Well, the National Pharmacy Association believes that the answer lies in placing more emphasis on pharmacies as a local healthcare service.

By allowing local pharmacies to flourish as centres of health and wellbeing for the surrounding community, the intense strain can be alleviated from the NHS as less people will rely on GPs and hospitals as a first port of call. This will also allow pharmacists to put their clinical skills to further use.

The See You Sooner campaign from the NPA aims to make this happen. They believe that local pharmacies should be people’s first and main contact for healthcare, dramatically improving access to treatment and advice.

What are the aims of ‘See You Sooner’?

The NPA’s See You Sooner campaign’s key aspirations are:

- There should be no unnecessary or avoidable barriers in place to receiving appropriate care in a timely fashion.

- No one should have to wait to see a doctor for the treatment of minor concerns like colds and coughs.

- People in all parts of the country should have the option to access health checks such as blood pressure at their local pharmacy. At the moment, there are only a few examples of commissioning health checks in local pharmacies.

- No one should have to wait to see a doctor for the routine management of their medicines for stable long term conditions. As an alternative, pharmacy workers should be fully supported in being able to understand, review and, if necessary, modify medicines as part of an integrated primary care team.

The aims of the NPA’s campaign are views shared by many NHS service users. In a survey of 1003 UK adults in March 2018 by RWB, 56 per cent of respondents agreed that NHS medicines review services in pharmacies should be expanded to help people with long term medical conditions to manage their medicines and to take pressure off the NHS. A further 35 per cent of respondents strongly agreed with this statement.

Online pharmacies provide immediate help and support

When we discuss the importance of local pharmacies, we can’t forget about the option of online pharmacies, which provide instant correspondence between healthcare professionals and individuals who may be unable to leave their home. Using an online pharmacy can provide convenient advice, diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of conditions, including those which patients may want to be treated more discreetly like hair loss or erectile dysfunction.

Express Pharmacy has been providing effective medication for a variety of conditions since 2009, and has now helped over 50,000 patients. Express Pharmacy also have a group of six NHS linked high street outlets in London, and each has a qualified pharmacist in-house.

If you’re in need of efficient and effective medical advice, contact the NHS-approved pharmacists at Express Pharmacy today. Call 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet online live chat service.

Related Categories:

Leave a Comment

Planning Your Summer Getaway? Here’s How to Avoid Jet Lag

Posted Thursday 10 May 2018 09:37 by Tim Deakin in Jet Lag

Planning your summer getaway? Here’s how to avoid jet lag

Nearly 93% of travellers experience jet lag at some point, so here’s how to stop it ruining your holiday

For many of us, the arrival of sunshine immediately inspires us to book that all important summer holiday. It’s hard to resist the draw of a couple of weeks stretched out beneath the blazing sun, but for too many of us jet lag can put a serious dampener on our getaway.

Luckily, it is possible to avoid jet lag and enjoy your holiday from the moment you step off the plane. The first step to beating jet lag is understanding it, which is why we’ve put together this handy guide to answer all your questions.

What is jet lag?

Jet lag occurs when your normal sleep pattern is disturbed after a long flight. Due to a shift in time zones, your body clock — or circadian rhythm — has to adjust to a new schedule, which can lead to sleep deprivation and exhaustion.

Who gets jet lag?

Jet lag can affect anyone travelling across time zones, and the only fluctuations in severity are a result of personal differences. For example, people who stick to rigid routines at home are often worse affected by jet lag than people with more fluid schedules. Young children are also often less affected by changing time zones.

The main factor which determines the extent of jet lag is the distance of travel. The more time zones you travel across, the more severe your jet lag is likely to be. What’s more, travelling west to east usually results in worse jet lag than travelling east to west, reflecting the greater difficulty of advancing your body clock compared to delaying it.

What causes jet lag?

The dominant cause of jet lag is travelling across time zones, which alters your circadian rhythm and makes it difficult to adjust to a new schedule of sleeping and waking. However, other factors which can impact on the severity of your jet lag include:

Your pre-flight condition, particularly tiredness, anxiety, stress or being hungover

High altitude and increased cabin pressure, which can lead to swelling and tiredness

Alcohol consumption, as the impact alcohol has on the body increases two-fold when you’re flying

Dehydration, which can be caused by alcohol but also through lack of water and a reliance on strong coffee

Lack of exercise, which is why passengers should stretch, get up and move regularly throughout their flight

How do you know if you have jet lag?

- The main symptoms of jet lag include:

- Difficulty waking up in the morning and sleeping at night

- Tiredness and exhaustion

- Poor sleep quality

- Finding it hard to stay awake throughout the day

- Lack of concentration

- Memory problems

- Indigestion, constipation and diarrhoea

How do you prevent jet lag?

Symptoms of jet lag usually improve on their own after a few days as your body clock adjusts to its new time zone. However, there are steps you can take to avoid severe jet lag.

Before you travel: make sure you get plenty of rest, following good sleep practices before going to bed. Try changing your routine gradually, going to bed and waking up an hour or two earlier or later than you normally would (in accordance with your new destination). You should also avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks and large meals before bed.

During your flight: drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and stay active by stretching and walking regularly. If your flight takes place during normal sleeping hours (in line with your destination) then try to sleep.

After you arrive: change your sleep schedule to fit your new location as quickly as possible, and set an alarm to avoid oversleeping. Go outside during the day, as natural light will help your body clock adjust. Try to stay awake until a reasonable bedtime for your new location without relying on naps to perk you up.

You can also use effective medication to avoid jet lag. Circadin is a prescription medication which acts as a short-term treatment for insomnia. When taken whole one to two hours before bed, Circadin provides melatonin: the body’s natural sleep hormone, making sleep easier. This can help treat symptoms of jet lag.

Contact Express Pharmacy for guidance and treatment for a wide range of health concerns, including jet lag. You can get in touch today using our fast and discreet live chat service, or by calling 0208 123 07 03.

Related Products: Circadin
Related Categories: Jet Lag

Leave a Comment

Is Your Hay Fever Really Hay Fever?

Posted Monday 30 April 2018 09:48 by Tim Deakin in Hay Fever and Allergy Relief

Allergy misdiagnosis is common in the UK, so it’s time to clear things up

Around one in four people in the UK now suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. This equates to 16 million people, compared to just one in eight during the 1980s. However, despite its common nature, detailed information about the condition remains hard to find.

Professor of the Royal Brompton allergy clinic in London, Stephen Durham, says: “Family members, GPs, even patients themselves can dismiss hay fever as just a bit of sneezing, but for about 10% of sufferers it causes abject misery.”

Misdiagnosis is also common when it comes to hay fever, says Dr Adrian Morris of the Surrey Allergy Clinic: “Many go to the GP complaining of sinus problems and end up on antibiotics, when they really have hay fever and need antihistamines and nasal spray.”

However, Durham points out that the reverse is also true, saying that there are also many people convinced that they have hay fever when in fact they are suffering from a different allergy.

What are you allergic to?

Often, it becomes easier to determine what kind of allergy you are suffering from once you determine the time of year that your allergy peaks. There are many sources of allergic reactions — which one sounds most familiar to you?

Grass: Grass pollens the majority of hay fever sufferers. The typical pollen season lasts from the first week of May to the second week of September, with a peak from the first week in June to the last week in July.

Birch: Around 25% of allergy sufferers have an allergy to birch trees. This birch season is earlier than the pollen season, lasting from mid-March to the first week in June and peaking from late March to mid-May.

Dust: Dust is a common culprit for allergy sufferers whose symptoms flare up in colder months, although symptoms can be present all year. Dust allergies tend to be worse indoors in winter due to central heating.

Mould: These allergies are the result of various common kinds of mould, such as Cladosporium and Alternaria. Mould allergy usually flares up in early autumn and late spring, and are particularly strong after rain.

Oak: Oak allergies are usually mild, though can be more severe in some cases. The allergy season lasts from the first week of April to mid-June and peaks from the end of April to early June.

Nettle: Everyone remembers nettles for their painful stinging potential, but they can also be a source of mild allergic reaction. The season lasts from the beginning of May to the end of September and peaks from the end of June to the beginning of August.

Oilseed rape: Like grass, oilseed rape allergies come about as a result of airborne pollen. This allergy season for oilseed rape is earlier than that of grass pollen allergies, lasting from the end of March to mid-June. It peaks from mid-May to the end of June.

Pets: Unlike the other allergies listed, pet allergies are not dependant on the time of year. Cats and dogs are the biggest causes of pet allergies in the UK, as our pets shed hair and skin cells which make their way into carpets, bedding and furniture.

Which medication is right for you?

If you do determine that hay fever is responsible for your allergies, there are several treatment options for you to consider.

Fexofenadine: This is a popular unbranded hay fever medication which is medically equivalent to branded options but is more cost effective. It acts as an effective non-drowsy antihistamine by preventing the release of chemicals which cause hay fever symptoms.

Mometasone: This is another popular unbranded medication for allergy relief, this time in the form of a nasal spray. It can help tackle symptoms like itchy eyes, sneezing and congestion.

Telfast: Telfast is the branded equivalent of fexofenadine, acting in exactly the same way to tackle hay fever symptoms.

Nasonex: Again, Nasonex is the branded equivalent of mometasone. It works to treat seasonal hay fever and year-round allergic rhinitis.

You can find allergy relief information and medication at Express Pharmacy. Contact our team today for answers to your queries by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet live chat service.

Leave a Comment

A New Study on Period Shame Reveals Some Startling Figures

Posted Friday 27 April 2018 14:53 by Tim Deakin in Period Pain Medication

According to Plan International UK, young women are not seeking guidance for their period concerns

Plan International UK is an organisation aiming to remove the taboos surrounding periods and menstruation, and with good reason. Their latest research has revealed that an alarming number of young women in the UK are not seeking medical help for their period concerns because they are too embarrassed.

In the report, Plan International UK calls for improved teaching materials and education which highlights the fact that periods are different for everyone and can include emotional, social and physical aspects which should be addressed. Other issues they touch upon are the problems some women have affording sanitary products.

Chief executive of Plan International UK, Tanya Barron, said:

“The stigma and taboo around periods is creating a wall of silence, with girls struggling to understand their own bodies, and feeling too ashamed to speak out when they think there is a problem.”

Barron says that better education for both girls and boys is needed to eradicate taboos and “make sure girls know when the symptoms they have are healthy and normal or when they need to seek medical advice.”

Period shame, in numbers

Over 1,000 girls and women aged between 14 and 21 were contacted by Plan International UK to take part in their survey. The results were eye-opening. Regarding the way girls and young women feel about seeking medical advice and treatment for their period concerns, the results found that:

- 79% of girls and young women have experienced period symptoms which have worried them, but haven’t sought medical advice or treatment

- Over a quarter (27%) of girls and young women said they haven’t seen a doctor because they felt too embarrassed

- 8% of girls and young women said they didn’t seek advice because there was only a male doctor available and they didn’t feel comfortable talking to them

Regarding the girls’ and young women’s experience of having periods, the results revealed that:

- 29% of girls and young women said they have experienced heavy bleeding

- 38% of girls and young women have experienced severe period pain

- A quarter (25%) of girls and young women have experienced periods that are heavier than usual

- Almost one third (32%) of girls and young women have had irregular periods

- 23% of girls and young women have been concerned about missing periods

- Almost one fifth (19%) of girls and young women said they have felt depressed

The NHS recommends that, should any of the above symptoms arise, medical attention should be sought as soon as possible. However, Plan International UK’s survey revealed that more than half (54%) of the girls and young women did not seek medical advice because they believed their symptoms were normal at the time. 13% of girls and young women also said people had told them they were exaggerating about their symptoms.

Never let embarrassment stand in the way of effective treatment

It’s clear from these findings that more needs to be done to normalise the perfectly normal processes of the female body. At Express Pharmacy, we believe that no one should ever feel embarrassed about their health concerns. However, you should also never let embarrassment stand in between you and effective treatment.

Online pharmacies allow girls and women to seek advice and treatment for their period concerns whilst maintaining discretion. For conditions like period pain and period delay, effective medication is available from Express Pharmacy. You can also use our live chat service to speak to one of our NHS-approved pharmacists about your concerns.

Both Mefenamic Acid (for period pain) and Norethisterone (for period delay) are available from Express Pharmacy. Contact the team today by using our discreet live chat or calling 0208 123 07 03.

Leave a Comment

What More Can We Do for Mental Health?

Posted Wednesday 18 April 2018 10:41 by Tim Deakin in Weight loss

Research shows that there is still a long way to go when it comes to mental health awareness and support...

A recent survey by ADP UK has found that UK employers are showing a lack of interest in their employees’ mental wellbeing despite the fact that many employees are suffering from significant mental health concerns.

The study, which assessed 1,300 workers, revealed that almost a third of British workers (31%) feel that their employer has little to no interest in their mental health. Despite this, a fifth (20%) of employees feel stressed out on a daily basis, and a third (33%) are even considering seeking new employment because the pressure is so bad.

Managing Director of ADP UK, Jeff Phipps, says:

“A certain level of stress is natural, even healthy, in the workplace, but it’s important that it doesn’t get out of hand. Employees who endure consistently high levels of stress are in danger of suffering from anxiety and even burnout. This can lead to more serious mental health issues.”

It seems mental health is worst among younger employees, as 22% of workers under 35 say they experience stress every day. 42% say it’s so bad they are considering a different job.

In a separate survey exploring mental health, one in six UK adults said they had experienced some kind of neurotic health problem in the last seven days, with anxiety and depression being the most common disorders. What’s more, a recent Psychiatric Morbidity Survey reveals that there are around 3 million people in the UK living with anxiety, and a further 3 million living with depression.

Not only are these concerns common, they are also serious. A study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) compared the effects of depression to those of physical conditions like arthritis, asthma, angina and diabetes. They concluded that the effect of depression on a person’s ability to function was up to 50% more serious than those of all four physical conditions combined.

What more can we do?

Understanding mental health conditions is the first step to dealing with them effectively. ADP UK suggest that employers take the time to research the symptoms and signs of conditions like anxiety and depression in order to put the necessary initiatives in place. Jeff Phipps states that this can be both a moral course of action and a smart business investment.

“Stress and mental health issues are one of the main causes of employee absence and staff turnover, which means supporting employees isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s also a worthwhile investment […]

“Employee assistance programmes and occupational health services are also imperative in creating a safe location where employees can go in confidence If they’re facing an issue.”

Mental health can have physical consequences

Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression can be difficult to spot because, often, the effects cannot be seen. However, both depression and anxiety can lead to physical symptoms.

Mental health disorders like depression often result in sufferers feeling constantly tired, as sleep quality can become poor. This may lead sufferers to take comfort in unhealthy habits like overeating, smoking and a lack of physical exercise. Sometimes anxiety and depression also lead to low sex drive and, in men, conditions like erectile dysfunction become more common. This can lead to a vicious cycle in which the mental symptoms worsen due to growing concern over physical symptoms.

For healthcare information, treatment and support about a range of health conditions, including smoking, weight gain and erectile dysfunction, contact Express Pharmacy today. Call our team on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet Live Chat service.

Leave a Comment