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Community Packing

As well as selling a variety of aids to make taking medication easier, we also provide a service where we will pack medication into devices that make it easier to take them. Please note that not all medications are suitable for this service and in some cases it is thought that it will not help a patient.

We are happy to discuss yours or your family members needs in confidence.  There is always the option of trying the packs for a month or so to see if they do solve any problems there are with taking your medication.

EHC (Morning-After Pill)

Both of our pharmacists (we have a male and a female) are accredited to provide free of charge EHC (Morning after pill) to Cumbrian residents. This requires a completely confidential consultation to see if the product is suitable for you. This takes place in the pharmacy consultation room and the dose is to be taken on the premises.

The medication provided is Levonelle®, which can be used upto 72 hours after intercourse, however it is more effective the sooner it is taken after intercourse (ideally within 12 hours).

The average consultation takes about 10 minutes. If you had intercourse more than 72 hours ago, but less than 5 days ago, there is an alternative treatment available from your GP or clinic.

For more information on the morning-after pill, please visit the health guide section of our site, which you may find useful.

Electronic Prescription Service

Castlegate Surgery can now use the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) and we expect Derwent House Surgery to start using it quite soon.  Some GPs in Cumbria have offered this service for a while and over time they all will.  It means that your prescription will be transmitted electronically to the pharmacy of your choice.  We have found that those patients whose surgery uses EPS generally receive their medication quicker than waiting for a paper prescription to be produced.

We have a link to the official website of the Electronic Prescription Service if you would like more information

We cannot stress enough the element of choice.  Firstly you can choose whether you even want to use the service and even if you do you can still ask for a paper prescription at any time.  Secondly you have to choose where you want your prescription to be sent.  You cannot be told by a pharmacy or a GP surgery, where it is going, it is up to you.

If you are happy for us to continue to dispense your electronic prescription or would like to use our service then we have a form available for you to sign either in the shop or you can follow this link to print a form and hand it in to us.  Each family member has to nominate their chosen pharmacy, so please contact us, or call in if you need more forms.

Flu Vaccination

We have received our supply of flu vaccine for the 2015/16 season and are vaccinating now with a 'drop in' service. This season we will be offering a FREE flu injection to eligible adults from mid September, depending on NHS approval.

For the last few seasons we have offered a very well received ‘drop in’ service with very short waiting times, and aim to offer that same service this season.

This year we will be providing a private flu vaccination service for those who are not eligible for our free NHS service. This service will cost £10 and is available to those aged 12 years and above.

Please check the blog section of our site where we will update our vaccine availability at regular intervals.

Who should receive the flu jab

The injected flu vaccine is offered FREE of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk to ensure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.

You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you:

  • are 65 years of age or over
  • are pregnant
  • have certain medical conditions (see below)
  • are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
  • receive a carer's allowance

Pregnant women and the flu jab

If you're pregnant, you're advised to have the injectable flu vaccine, regardless of the stage of pregnancy you've reached. That's because there's strong evidence to suggest that pregnant women have an increased risk of developing complications if they get flu.

If you're pregnant, you will benefit from the flu vaccine because it:

  • reduces your chance of getting serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy
  • reduces your risk of having a miscarriage or your baby being born prematurely or with a low birthweight, due to flu
  • will help protect your baby because they will continue to have some immunity to flu for the first few months of their life

It's safe to have the flu vaccine at any stage of pregnancy, from conception onwards. The vaccine doesn't carry any risks for you or your baby. Talk to your GP or midwife if you are unsure about the vaccination.

Flu jab for people with medical conditions

The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to anyone with a serious long term health condition. That includes these types of illnesses:

FREE NHS Health Check

We have been carrying out free NHS Health Checks since the beginning of December 2012.  The test involves a blood pressure and cholesterol check amongst others.  We are delighted to say that we have had an excellent uptake of the check and customer feedback has been very pleasing.

Patients who have had a check have found it very useful as a pointer to areas where they could improve or even that they need to keep up with what they are doing.

If you are interested in having a Free NHS Health Check, you can see if you are eligible below and either call us or pop in to arrange an appointment.

The check is available for patients between the ages of 40 and 74 who have NOT been diagnosed with or suffered from:

  • Heart Disease (including high blood pressure)
  • Angina
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Stroke

The check should last about of 25 minutes and involves a cholesterol check, blood pressure check, height & weight measurements along with some personal & family history questions and lifestyle advice.

The above conditions often go undiagnosed and only come to light after an event serious enough to result in a hospital admission.

The aim of the check is to avoid these serious events by identifying risk factors serious enough to require medication and also offering lifestyle advice that can cut your risk.

There is further information on NHS Health Checks here

Gluten-Free Foods

Allisons Chemist can fulfill your NHS prescription for gluten free foods.  NHS Cumbria run a scheme where, once registered with your surgery, you can order eligible foods directly from the pharmacy. 

Not all gluten-free foods are eligible through the scheme, so please ask if you need more information.

We have four deliveries a day, enabling us to complete your order the same day or the day after ordering.

Please note that this does not apply to fresh bread, which is baked on demand and takes a few days to arrive.

For more on coeliac disease, please visit the health guide section of our site, where you will find useful information.

Living Aids TCES Scheme

We stock of a number of items that are regularly prescribed by occupational therapists under the Transforming Community Equipment Services (TCES) scheme.  We are able to obtain less commonly used products direct from the supplier.  These items are usually delivered to us within a week.

Please note that we can only deliver items on the scheme if the prescription states that delivery is required.  This service operates independently to our prescription delivery service.

We also have catalogues available for you to take away if you wish to purchase any disability living aids.  Please not that many of the products that we are able to order are quite specific with regard to sizes, heights etc.  If a product has been recommended by an occupational therapist, then please be sure to follow their recommendation.

Medicine Use Review

Allisons Chemist offers an NHS service called a Medicines Use Review (MUR).This service gives you an opportunity to meet with one of our accredited pharmacists to talk about:

  • The medicines you are taking
  • What they do
  • How well they work for you
  • How to get the most out of them

The service is free of charge and takes place in our private consultation room. The aim is to help you to understand your medication better and to help us to understand any issues you have with your medication. In essence, the service aims to optimise your treatment, highlight any problems and eliminate waste.

The review takes about 15 minutes and you will receive a record of the discussion, with any recommendations as will your GP.? An MUR is available to those patients that have been receiving prescriptions from the pharmacy for three months.

An MUR can be arranged at a time that is convenient for you.

Here is a link to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society website where there is more information on Medicine Use reviews.

Minor Ailments Scheme
We are now providing an NHS minor ailments scheme. We can treat a range of short-term conditions without the need for you to see your GP. If you are exempt from prescription charges, then any medication supplied will be free of charge. We offer a 'drop-in' service so no appointment is needed.

New Medicines Service

Starting a new medication can be daunting. There are potentially issues with remembering the correct dose, how to use a product correctly, whether you feel that the new medication is working, or maybe even causing side effects.

These issues can result in the condition not being treated correctly and therefore, not improving as hoped.

Allisons Chemist provide an NHS service called the New Medicines Service (NMS), where one of our pharmacists can help to support you in the first month of starting a new medication for the following conditions:

  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Anticoagulant/Antiplatelet treatment (e.g. Warfarin)
  • Asthma
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

To provide this service, we simply require your consent.

We then provide you with a leaflet with important information about your new medication.About two weeks later you can either arrange to come in and see a pharmacist or one of our pharmacists can call you to see how you’re getting on with your medication.Two weeks after this discussion, you would come in to see the pharmacist for a brief consultation to see how you are doing.

The aim of the service is to provide you with good information that will help you best use your new medication and to highlight any problems you may have.

Here is a link to the NHS website for the New Medicines Service.

NHS & Private Prescriptions

Allisons Chemist dispense both NHS and private prescriptions.

A Pharmacist is always on duty during opening hours to supervise the dispensing of prescriptions and to offer help and advice when required.  Private prescriptions are charged according to the ingredient cost.  From experience we know that our prices are competitive, so please call for a quote if you would like to know what your prescription will cost.

Our computer system can keep a record of your medication. This is useful to ensure safety and convenience when dispensing and selling medicines.

As part of the process of refitting the shop after the Cockermouth floods in November 2009, we invested in a state of the art robotic dispensing system, which is located upstairs.  We hope that this will help us to keep up with the changing demands of pharmacy, and allow us to spend more time serving our patients.

Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions
Castlegate Surgery can already transmit prescriptions to us electronically and we expect Derwent House to follow suit in the not too distant future.  We have been ready for this service for a long time and patients who already use it are finding that they receive their prescriptions much quicker and with less hassle.

If you would like to take advantage of this service and have your prescription dispensed at Allisons when your surgery is ready, please pop in and register with us.

Unwanted Medicines
Unused medicines should be returned to a pharmacy for safe destruction. 

Please Do Not Hoard Medicines

Please Note: Unless otherwise requested by the patient, all tablets &capsules are dispensed in “child resistant containers” – this does not mean that they are “child proof” – nothing is!

So please Keep All Medicines Out Of The Reach Of Children

Over the counter medication

At Allisons Chemist you can buy a wide range of over the counter medicines to treat a wide variety of ailments.  This ranges from the value generic ranges through to the leading brands.

You will be advised which medicines are best for you by one of our trained medicine counter assistants.  If required, further advice can be provided by one of our pharmacists, who will have access to your medication records if you receive your prescriptions from us.

Repeat Dispensing

Allisons Chemist holds a number of prescriptions on the behalf of their patients and operates a scheme called Repeat Dispensing.

In this scheme, the surgery prepares a set number of repeat prescriptions (usually between three and twelve months).  We hold on to these repeat prescriptions and you come to the pharmacy rather than the surgery when you need your next supply.  If you use your medication regularly, we will have your next repeat dispensing prescription ready for when you next need it.  Many patients like to ring ahead, to make sure that their repeat dispensing prescription is available to collect.

At the end of your issues, you will need to contact your surgery and they may or may not want to see you before issuing your next batch.  We will notify you when we dispense your last prescription.

Patients who use this system find it far more convenient than having to contact the surgery each time they need their medication.  If you think that this system would suit you, then you can ask in the shop or at your surgery to see if they are happy to put you on the repeat dispensing scheme.

Here we have a link to a leaflet that explains the scheme in greater detail.

Smoking Cessation

Allisons Chemist has products available to help you quit smoking.There are three main ways, which you can go about quitting using a pharmacy:

  1. Prescribed Nicotine replacement or medication via GP or nurse
  2. Purchasing you own Nicotine replacement
  3. Using our smoking cessation service

However you decide to quit is up to you. Every smoker is different, and will require differing levels of support.

Allisons Chemist can help you quit with the Stop Smoking Service. This is an NHS service commissioned by the local Primary Care Trust.

Despite the financial and health-related benefits, quitting is difficult as the nicotine is so addictive and kicking the habit can be a daunting challenge. The Stop Smoking Service offers individuals the support and encouragement they need to quit smoking and could be your key to a smoke-free life.

The Stop Smoking Service offers regular one-to-one appointments with a trained member of staff. The Stop Smoking Service is tailored to individual requirements and includes regular private consultations, nicotine replacement therapy, carbon monoxide tests and advice on managing cravings. We can help you to identify your smoking habits and choose the method that will best suit you. Regular appointments will help keep your resolve strong and provide support in conquering cravings.

The provision of Nicotine Replacement Therapy basically follows the pricing structure of NHS prescriptions.

If you pay for your prescriptions, the cost as of the 1st April 2014 is £8.05 per item. If you do not pay for your prescription, you will sign the declaration to receive the product without being charged.

For more on smoking cessation, please visit the health advice section of our site, where you will find useful information.