I met a nurse

Yes, I know, that is not a surprising thing; there are a lot of nurses in the UK. But I met her in Superdrug – one of the pharmacies in the centre of Croydon. And no she wasn’t shopping – she was working there.

That’s novel, I thought. It would appear that she is working for Superdrug within their travel service. Actually there are three nurses, supported by a pharmacist running the service. Actually there are other pharmacies doing it as well.

Not just any old service – a very well used one considering when the next appointment is. Oooh how interesting – people traveling all over the place – the information, the algorithms all look fantastic. I am impressed. And I am reliably told by one of my local GPs, just about the only place that you can get rabies and yellow fever.

And I can buy a whole range of holiday health bits and bobs as well. All supported by the pharmacist. Even some advice on how to take medicines to ‘dodgy places’ without being arrested – that is good!

It was interesting to chat for a minute or two. What a great service! And what else can they do…. Well I can have any immunisation including flu, but they have no NHS contract so I would have to have it privately. In fact I could have a whole range of national program immunisations privately. How silly. But actually I might just do it – you know – while the car is getting washed a key cut – buying things – how convenient.

And she was A&E trained. Yes and she had gone out into the shopping centre to help people who had fallen over or collapsed, but that was not in her contract either. It is difficult, she explained, I am a nurse and ably qualified to deal with both minor and major occurrences – so I feel that I have to help – in fact I might be more in trouble if I didn’t. So she could cope with minor injuries as well – a bit of stictching or glueing, bandaging – what a pity they don’t have a local contract.

So what is the point of this blog?

  • Firstly, it is perfectly normal to find a nurse, employed by a community pharmacy to provide a service to their local community. Pharmacists and nurses work well together. And they provide a valuable service to what appears to be an excellent level.
  • Secondly, they could provide so much more. The staff are there; the consultation area is there; the will is there.
  • Thirdly, it is about time local commissioners walked the walk and saw what was going on right under their noses!

Perhaps they might have some inspiration and commission something useful in the main shopping centre where people go!


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