Ask Your Pharmacist for more than just medicine

During national Ask Your Pharmacist Week, people living in Doncaster are being reminded that they can ask their pharmacist for more than just medicine.

Your local pharmacist can now prescribe support for non-medical conditions like feeling lonely, money worries, looking after your home or getting out and about.

It’s thanks to an innovative new project called Doncaster Social Prescribing which gives pharmacists and other healthcare professionals in Doncaster the option to prescribe non-medical support to patients.

The project, run by South Yorkshire Housing Association and Doncaster CVS, aims to ease pressure on local NHS by referring patients with non-medical problems to appropriate support in local communities.

Zoe Oldfield, Enterprise Programmes Manager at South Yorkshire Housing Association said: “Your pharmacist doesn’t just have to be a place you go to pick up medicine. If you ask your pharmacist about social prescribing they can refer you onto local organisations who can offer you support with a range of non-medical issues.

“We deal with the issues that can often cause medical problems, such as being out of work or lonely. Our support empowers people and gives them the confidence to make positive changes to their lifestyle.

Mandy Willis, Social Prescribing Manager at Doncaster CVS said: “Pharmacists fill in a simple referral form and then our trained advisors will go out and visit people in their own homes to help them work out the support that’s best for them – it really is that easy.”

Nick Hunter, Chief Officer of Doncaster Local Pharmaceutical Committee said: “More than 90% of people living in areas of high deprivation are within a 15 minute walk of a pharmacy. You don’t need to book an appointment, just pop in and your pharmacist can help you with a range of issues, and now thanks to social prescribing we can help with non-medical issues too.”

Doncaster Social Prescribing is funded by NHS Doncaster Clinic Commissioning Group and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council as part of the national Better Care Fund.

To find out more about Doncaster Social Prescribing and the support on offer visit www.syha.co.uk/doncastersocialprescribing.