Pulling out all the stops at Christmas

Our sales and marketing director, Nigel Swift says that the role pharmacies play at Christmas time shouldn’t be taken for granted.

As the nights lengthen and the temperature plummets, we are reminded that winter is here. Whilst the winter season is traditionally a time of celebrations and family gatherings, it has also become a time where we are reminded just how much we all rely on health services.

In recent months, newspapers have carried pictures of ambulances queueing outside emergency departments and a tent erected in a hospital car park to cope with patient numbers. While pressure in pharmacies may not provide such dramatic photo opportunities, pharmacies are also feeling the strain.

Christmas is our busiest time of the year and our teams at LloydsPharmacy are working even harder to make sure their community’s health needs are met throughout winter.

I am always incredibly proud of how our business steps up during the festive period – and this year is no different. Whether we’re administering record levels of flu vaccinations across LloydsPharmacy, or creating a magical winter shopping experience at our John Bell & Croyden health and wellbeing emporium – our teams are pulling out all the stops.

As the NHS prepares itself for one of the most demanding winters on record, we are already experiencing increased dispensing volumes and minor ailment complaints.

It’s such an important time of the year for so many – people are looking forward to spending time with loved ones, sharing gifts and eating an unrestrained amount of food. Feeling unwell can really dampen the spirit and ruin your plans. That’s why the services provided by pharmacies are so crucial.

When it comes to Christmas time, GPs and A & E departments are even busier than usual which leaves many people looking for an alternative.

Our pharmacists can provide advice and treatment for minor illnesses, without an appointment. They are the most accessible healthcare professionals – and they’re only round the corner on your high street.

In many cases, our patients rely on interactions with their pharmacy teams to help them manage on-going conditions. Whether that involves monitoring blood pressure levels, checking people are using their inhalers correctly or just acting as a first port of call for general questions about their medication, our pharmacy teams are open for business.

We can be counted on when we’re needed most – especially at Christmas.