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Boots launches "virtual pharmacist" service

Boots has launched the next generation of health advice - a pharmacist available to provide specialist advice direct to customers in the comfort of their own homes.

Boots Live Pharmacist Service has been developed in response to demand from consumers for health advice in the evening, the time when they most need it. It is available from 6pm to midnight Monday to Saturday, and customers email their questions for a call back from a Boots pharmacist within 20 minutes.

According to recent statistics, more than a third of calls to NHS Direct concern home care advice that a pharmacist could help with. Forty percent of people surveyed use the internet to search for health information, while a further 23% turn to their pharmacist for everyday health advice. The top five most researched subjects are allergies, digestive problems, medicine that has been prescribed, colds and flu and forthcoming operations.

Tricia Kennerley, healthcare development director at Boots, said: "Our customers have been telling us that they would like to have access to interactive health information and advice, available online from Boots. Boots Live Pharmacist Service is just one part of our healthcare strategy to provide the nation with comprehensive, trustworthy health advice that helps people to manage their own health more proactively."