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It's Good To Talk At The Chemists

A pharmacy in Hillfields is offering local people much more than painkillers and throat sweets as it looks to take a more active role in the community.

Lloyds Pharmacy, on the Stoney Stanton Road, has established a unique Chat Centre to hold meetings and training sessions to help with everything from giving up smoking to diabetes awareness.

A former stockroom has been set aside to allow experts to pass on information either in group meetings or confidential one-to-one sessions.

Lloyds Pharmacy area manager Ian Townsend has worked very closely with the Phoenix Area Co-ordination Team to get the idea off the ground and believes the scheme can benefit the whole community.

He said:

"We have created an open area with tables, chairs and leaflets and we just want people to come in and take advantage of what's on offer.

"We've had professionals from Help the Aged and the Alzheimer's Society holding sessions and we hope to have a dietician coming in too. There is also a smoking-cessation worker who visits to give out free nicotine replacement patches."

Townsend hopes the idea will encourage people to use the pharmacy when it comes to other health matters.

He said:

"Local GPs have been very interested in our chat room and want to work alongside us on things like blood glucose monitoring to diagnose diabetes early.

"People don't always have time to wait for an appointment with a doctor and we want them to know that we are here for them too."

Phoenix Area Co-ordinator John Payne said:

"I believe it is the first of its kind in Coventry and I am sure the local people will get a lot out of it.

"Obviously it is not a replacement for going to see a GP, but if people can come in and use the chat room for issues where seeing a doctor is not necessary that has to be of benefit to everyone."
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CWN / Coventry City Council / Area Coordination / 5 Feb 01
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