As experts warn that the dreaded ‘Aussie flu’ is more severe than the Swine flu pandemic of 2009 which killed nearly 300,000 people across the world, The Sound Doctor has produced a short film urging people to visit pharmacies before going to the GP or A&E.
The Pharmacy Song is part of a campaign to encourage people to use patient information and good communications to decide who best to consult.

Scotland has been one of the worst hit by the Aussie Flu and has seen waiting times in Scotland’s A&E soar as 470 people spent more than 12 hours there in just one week. Only 77.9 per cent of patients were seen within the four-hour target for the first week of 2018.

Hospital A&E departments cared for 25,280 patients in the first week of the year.

The Pharmacy Song will strike a chord with the GPs and A&E staff who treat over 60 million patients annually for ailments such as a cold, blocked nose, back pain, insect bites – even dandruff. Together, these visits cost the NHS more than £2 billion in wasted time.

Rosie Runciman, co-founder of The Sound Doctor, said: “The cost of these unnecessary visits is spiralling, but the problem is not just financial. If we can get more people to see their pharmacist first, we can give GPs and A&E staff more time to treat people with serious conditions. That’s why we’re calling on CCGs to join us in giving people the information they need to make informed and sensible decisions about minor ailments.”

The Sound Doctor has a library of more than 300 films covering five key areas of health – COPD, diabetes, back pain, dementia, heart failure and weight management surgery.

The company also produces health and wellness animations, many of which are used in GP surgeries across the country.

The Sound Doctor’s main aims are to:

· reduce the number of avoidable admissions (and readmissions) to hospital
· reduce the need for face-to-face contact with consultants, physicians, nurses, physiotherapists and others – and to improve the quality of meetings that do take place
· improve medicines management and compliance with medications
· improve the quality of care for patients (and patient experience of their care)
· help people get the most out of life through effective self-management
The Sound Doctor’s films are endorsed by leading charities and adhere to NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines.
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