Ask Your Pharmacist week (November 2-9) kicks off today with the aim of raising awareness of pharmacy services and prompting conversations at the local level around the role community pharmacy plays.
With a theme of ‘Your local pharmacy in the NHS family,’ the National Pharmacy Association’s annual campaign is this year focusing on pharmacy-based NHS services and the ways in which pharmacies interact with other parts of the health service.
Campaign materials including window displays and sample newspaper adverts can be accessed on the NPA website. The #AskYourPharmacist hashtag will be used on social media throughout the campaign.
NPA head of communications Stephen Fishwick said: “During the coronavirus pandemic, community pharmacy teams have worked unstintingly on the health service frontline to provide great patient care in difficult circumstances, alongside colleagues from other professions.
“This year’s Ask Your Pharmacist week is a chance to further establish in the public’s mind that community pharmacies are a key member of the NHS family.
“The better it’s understood that community pharmacies are part of the NHS team, the more people will be willing to access NHS services in pharmacies and support the further development of integrated, patient-centred care.”
Launching the campaign in Northern Ireland, Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland chief Gerard Greene said: “Ask Your Pharmacist Week is a welcome opportunity for us all to take a step back and look at our health service and the hugely important role that is played on the ground by local community pharmacies, as part of our Health and Social Care family.
“This year we have seen the remarkable dedication and resilience of community pharmacy teams across Northern Ireland who have stepped up as leaders within health and social care
“With many patients at home self-isolating or shielding, they can still have a face-to-face discussion with their pharmacist via a video call. We ask the public to speak to your local pharmacy for more details.
“As we approach the winter months, we expect to see another surge in patient numbers due to flu season and COVID, but community pharmacy remains open and ready to support our patients throughout this period and we are putting plans in place to deal with increased demand. Community Pharmacy will be here for everyone this winter.”