Thu 30 Oct 2014

Pharmacy at the heart of NHS England’s winter planning

Community pharmacy is ready and willing to meet additional patient demands this winter and this is recognised by the NHS England campaign, “Feeling under the weather?” launching this week. 

 

The campaign, which will last for six weeks until mid-December, builds upon last year’s ‘The earlier, the better’ campaign, and Pharmacy Voice’s ongoing Dispensing Health campaign, which urges the public to use community pharmacy as the first port of call for common ailments and basic health advice, leaving general practice and A&E departments with increased capacity to deal with patients with more complex needs.

Evaluation from last year’s ‘The earlier the better’ campaign showed that 44% of the public recognise the campaign and there has been an 11% increase in willingness to use community pharmacy for advice by those who have seen the campaign, compared to those who have not.

Rob Darracott, chief executive of Pharmacy Voice, said: “It is encouraging that NHS England is focusing on the available skills and experience in pharmacy teams. This approach will deliver benefits for patients and will reduce the burden on general practice and A&E during the busy winter season. Community pharmacy teams are willing and able to meet NHS England’s challenge to all of us to change the way we use our cherished, but struggling, health service.

“We believe that this push to better utilise community pharmacy could be significant in securing the future of an NHS that is free at the point of use and hope that next month’s Primary Care Strategy reflects the aspirations of community pharmacy teams to play an even bigger role.

“Community pharmacy is perfectly placed to offer the public advice about managing common ailments, and with 1.2 million people visiting a community pharmacy daily for health-related reasons, there are almost half a billion opportunities yearly to interact with the public and encourage them to self-care and use the most appropriate NHS resources.”

Notes to editors

Pharmacy Voice was formed by the three largest community pharmacy owner associations to create a stronger, unified voice for their independent and multiple members. The founding members of Pharmacy Voice are the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp), the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) and the National Pharmacy Association (NPA).

For more information on 'Feeling under the weather' click here.

For further information please contact Stewart Laing, stewart.laing@salixandco.com  / 07725 555030