Independent pharmacies are being invited to get involved with a campaign, devised in response to pharmacy cuts, to highlight the value of community pharmacy to local communities. The National Pharmacy Association wants to reach each MP with over 500 campaign cards from patients entitled “Support your local pharmacies”, in a matter of weeks.
Three core elements of the campaign are pre-ordering the cards for patients to send to MPs, writing to MPs from the pharmacy, and sharing stories of great care provided by community pharmacy with the NPA. Pharmacists, and pharmacy team members, are being encouraged to send personalised letters to their MP, describing what they do and why this is valuable to patients and customers. Taking the time to compose a letter will increase the impact of the message, said the NPA, and template letters are more likely to receive a similar “boilerplate” letter by return, the organisation advised.
NPA chairman, Ian Strachan, suggests that stories of “care and compassion” are the most suitable to share. “Any of your own personal hardship that may come about as a result of the Government’s approach should not, in my view, be the theme of your correspondence. Instead, it’s your stories of care, compassion, and passion for the patients and communities you serve. Think about your patient profile. Think about those you have assisted to live in their homes for longer, the elderly, the disabled and the immobile,” he said. A copy of a letter he has sent to his own MP is available to read on the NPA website, as an example.
NPA members are also being asked to contribute to a body of work capturing stories on “profound benefits of pharmacies for patients and communities”, by uploading stories via the NPA website.
An NPA survey is exploring the implications of hub & spoke supply models for independent pharmacies. The closing date for the survey is Friday 12 February: www.npa.co.uk