Luton Clinical Commissioning Group is supporting the new NHS public awareness campaign, Feeling Under The Weather, to persuade people to seek advice from their local pharmacist if they are feeling unwell.
Those with existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma or bronchitis, are particularly vulnerable and even the common cold can be more serious for older people.
Dr Nina Pearson, a GP and chair of Luton CCG, said: “You don’t need an appointment and many have consultation areas, so your local pharmacy is a good place to start when you’re feeling unwell.”
“People often don’t seek advice for wheezes, coughs and sneezes because they don’t think it’s serious enough, or they don’t want to waste their pharmacist’s time.
“But no problem is too small for your local pharmacist who is a highly trained and trusted source of health advice, and often has long opening hours.
“Pharmacists can provide medicines advice and support for minor ailments, advise you about how to manage a long term condition and will tell you if something needs more urgent medical attention from your local GP or hospital.
“Please see help early and stop a minor health issue from developing into a bigger health problem.”