Drug stores in Nova Scotia to provide primary care
March 2, 2022
HALIFAX – Sobeys, Lawtons Drugs and Nova Scotia Health are partnering on an innovative collaborative care model that will provide Nova Scotians in the New Glasgow and Truro areas with another option for timely, routine, non-urgent health concerns. Known as Lawtons Drugs Pharmacist Walk-in Clinic+, pharmacists and a nurse practitioner will provide primary care at walk-in clinics above Sobeys owned Lawtons Drug pharmacies through this unique partnership.
“We are committed to improving access to high-quality care for Nova Scotians, and through this innovative partnership, we are able to explore ideas and solutions that have never been done before in our province,” said Karen Oldfield (pictured), interim president and CEO, Nova Scotia Health. “This new model of care delivery will allow us to immediately improve access to primary care in these two communities; it’s one of many test-and-try opportunities we are moving forward with to improve our health system.”
This collaborative concept is based on a pharmacist-led walk-in clinic that opened last year above Lawtons Drugs in Pictou County. Through this new partnership, Nova Scotia Health is adding a nurse practitioner to the existing New Glasgow clinic, who will also provide care and health advice to patients at a newly established clinic in Truro.
“The pandemic has highlighted the need for primary healthcare support in rural communities,” said Vivek Sood, executive vice president, related businesses, Sobeys Inc. “We’ve tested the pharmacy walk-in clinic concept in New Glasgow and the community response has been very positive. The Nova Scotia Health partnership provides the added expertise of a nurse practitioner, and with a second clinic location now in Truro, we can continue to see and treat more people.”
Patients will be seen in a private consultation room by a pharmacist or nurse practitioner who can assess and treat a variety of illnesses and health conditions, and prescribe medications as needed.
Clinical settings, such as this collaborative walk-in clinic, put professional services first, and enable pharmacists to practice to their full scope with their unique health training.
Pharmacists can assess, prescribe for, and treat a range of minor ailments and conditions including seasonal allergies, indigestion, minor joint pain, muscle sprains and skin conditions like eczema.
Pharmacists are also able to renew prescriptions, prescribe birth control, cold sore medication, prescribe for uncomplicated UTIs and shingles, and they can manage chronic drug therapy for conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.
A nurse practitioner can diagnose and treat health issues such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other ongoing health conditions.
A nurse practitioner can also prescribe medications, order and interpret tests, including blood tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs, and refer patients to a specialist or other health care provider, if needed.
These pharmacist walk-in clinics offer virtual and in-person appointments for chronic illness management, regular prescriptions, and renewals.
In a collaborative setting, pharmacists and nurse practitioners provide valuable expertise and accessible primary care for communities.
Each clinic has the capacity to provide care for approximately two hundred people per week.
More information about services, address and hours of operation, is available at lawtons.ca/pharmacistwalkinclinic.