The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) described the Ask Your Pharmacist initiative as “more important than ever” as AYP Week 2019 launched yesterday (Monday November 11).
The NPA and NHS initiative, which runs until November 18, aims to build the public’s understanding of the services provided by community pharmacies.
The campaign should remind customers to use pharmacies as the first port of call for clinical advice and treatment for minor illness, including coughs, colds eye infection and earache, said the NPA.
The organisation said pharmacy teams should use this opportunity to showcase the development of health services in pharmacies, with the overall aim of reducing unnecessary GP appointments and hospital visits.
Stephen Fishwick, head of communications at the NPA, said: “Community pharmacists are highly qualified health care professionals, who can provide clinical advice for common illnesses and support you to stay well. Pharmacists work with other professionals, such as doctors and nurses, to give you the best possible care, as part of the local NHS team. During Ask Your Pharmacist week we are urging people to make the most of this highly accessible local resource.”
“With so much changing in pharmacy and so much riding on the successful implementation of new clinical services, it is perhaps more important than ever that the public understands the journey community pharmacy is taking. There is an ongoing need for awareness initiatives like Ask Your Pharmacist Week, so that more people get the care they need at a time and place convenient to them,” he adds.
Awareness-raising activities during Ask Your Pharmacist Week include a social media campaign using the hashtag #askyourpharmacist, public exhibitions, window posters and newspaper adverts.