DESPITE being in the middle of the holiday season, our August meeting saw a packed Town Hall, and even though our planned speaker had pulled out at fairly short notice, it was good to welcome Fiona Lowe, Chief Officer of the local Pharmaceutical Committee, to talk about pharmacies today.

Pharmacies have come a long way, from the apothecaries of the 19th. century, through the establishment of the NHS, with their 1 shilling prescriptions, to the fully-fledged businesses of today, with over 87,000 prescriptions issued each year.

It was shocking to hear that over 30 per cent of all patients do not take their medicines as prescribed, and that sometimes this is not just a mistake, but done deliberately! This obviously leads to waste, and does not help the recovery of the patients. However, it was good to hear of planned changes in the health service, which will give pharmacies more responsibility, not just for dispensing medicines, but also to advising on general health matters, thereby freeing up more time for both GPs and hospitals.

Evesham U3A has over 70 groups, with something to interest everyone, and our monthly meeting on the first Wed. of each month. For further details, just visit our website. New members always welcome.