Community pharmacists across Northern Ireland are encouraging the public to ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’ as part of a week to raise awareness of the value and importance of our local community pharmacies.
The week, an initiative led by the National Pharmacy Association, is an opportunity to highlight all of the services available in community pharmacy this winter, including the Covid-19 vaccination, reminders and the winter flu vaccination program .
The new Pharmacy First service will also launch this week, allowing patients to receive help from their local community pharmacist for everyday health issues such as sore throats and colds. The goal of the service is to move the activity away from other parts of the health service, while using the clinical skills of pharmacists as part of accessible community service.
Amid the growing pressures felt in primary care, Community Pharmacy NI reminds the public that community pharmacies, while not immune to their own pressures, are a critical asset to community health and can alleviate a burden. part of the pressure on other parts of the health service.
Community Pharmacy NI recently elected Peter Rice, Pharmacist from West Belfast, as the new President for the next two years.
Newly elected Community Pharmacy NI President Peter Rice said:
“As President at such a crucial time for healthcare, I am pleased to be able to present the full range of services that the community pharmacy is able to provide to patients. In recent months, the industry has pivoted to become the main facilitator of Covid-19 vaccinations in Northern Ireland. We recently passed the 153,000 vaccine dose milestone and are offering booster shots as part of the next round of immunization. “
“As primary care providers, we are keenly aware of local healthcare pressures and the difficulties some patients face in accessing certain parts of healthcare services. The Pharmacy First service presents a solution to this. Operating in community pharmacies across Northern Ireland, it will allow patients to have access to a healthcare professional near their home and at a time convenient for them. “
Community Pharmacy NI General Manager Gerard Greene said:
“At a pivotal time for our health service, ‘Ask Your Pharmacist Week’ is a truly timely opportunity for us to highlight the role community pharmacy plays in reducing the bottlenecks we see in primary care. We know that this winter will be difficult and that access to many health care providers is likely to deteriorate. The Community Pharmacy fully recognizes these pressures and will work hard over the weeks and months to support our patients.
“In this week Ask Your Pharmacist, we would like to remind our patients that our community pharmacy teams are here to help. “
Vincent Harkin of Harkin ‘Pharmacy in Maghera said:
“Throughout the year, our community pharmacists have worked hard to support patients and provide assistance. As we move forward into fall and winter, I encourage the public to support this year’s campaign message: “Your local pharmacy can help,” especially with a pharmacy offering a range of services, parallel to the distribution. We expect that there will be additional pressures from influenza and Covid-19 in the times to come, so it is really encouraging that continuity of care is there, and the community pharmacy will be supporting patients throughout. process. “