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COMMUNITY pharmacies across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire are using QR codes on ‘Health Information Hubs’ to share the most up to date health advice and information with their patients.

The hubs allow patients with smart phones to download information leaflets directly to their devices using QR code technology and view health related information such as the Common Ailments Scheme as well as links to self-help leaflets for chronic diseases.

The information hubs can be updated remotely and therefore the detail behind each QR code will always be kept up to date.  

Advantages of using digital technology include a reduction in paper leaflets as well discretion for patients who wish to obtain information about personal issues.

Patients who don’t have access to a smartphone will still be able to collect information in paper format.

The hubs are now in almost all community pharmacies within Hywel Dda.

Pharmacist Dave Edwards of Edwards Healthcare said “The Health Information Hubs are bringing pharmacy information leaflets into the 21st Century.  They will empower patients to take control of their health, and take responsibility for their wellbeing.”

Pharmacist Gareth Harlow of Harlow & Knowles in Penygroes has also praised the introduction of the hubs: “We have been displaying the QR for the last few weeks and it has generated a lot of interest from patients of all age ranges.

“I was pleasantly surprised how easy it is to use and think it is brilliant that patients can now get up to date information so quickly and easily on their phone by scanning these QR pods.”

Jill Paterson, Director of Primary Care, Community and Long-term Care for Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “We are delighted to launch yet another resource for patients with our colleagues in community pharmacy and recognise the range of enhanced services they can offer, often as a first point of contact, which has extended the role they play in the community.  

“The new Health Information Hubs are a convenient way for patients to access a range of medical and healthy lifestyle information and advice.

“Our community pharmacies do a lot more these days than simply dispense medication and in some cases they can save a trip to a GP or an Accident and Emergency Department and as you don’t have to make an appointment they offer a quick and flexible way to access healthcare and health information.”

To find out more about the services your local pharmacy offers, please visit: www.hywelddahb.wales.nhs.uk/communitypharmacy

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