Two Northern Ireland community pharmacies have scooped awards at the Chemist and Druggist Awards 2015
Bannside Pharmacy in Porglenone won in the Public Health Initiative of the Year catergory and Andersons Pharmacy in Portadown won the GP Partnership of the Year accolade
Bannside Phamacy – ‘Portglenone Gets Healthy!’
Since its inception in September 2014, public health initiative ‘Portglenone Gets Healthy!’ has had the wellbeing of its local community at its heart. The 12-week wellness and weight loss programme was run by the Bannside Pharmacy team in conjunction with the University of Ulster’s school of pharmacy. Using funding from the NPA Health Education Foundation and Northern Health and Social Care Trust, they helped 100 people improve their physical and mental health. This involved sessions with pharmacist Eoghan O’Brien and dietician Dr Lynn McGuffin, evening workshops on motivation and stress management, gym sessions and taking measurements such as BMI and blood pressure.
The results speak for themselves: the group lost an average of 2.6kg per person, their diabetes risk assessment scores fell and 83 per cent of participants said they thought the lifestyle changes would last. Testaments from those who completed the course praised the “personal touch” and “kindness” of the team and many respondents even requested ongoing support from the pharmacy. In fact, ‘Portglenone Gets Healthy’ has been so successful that the team is developing a model that could be rolled out to pharmacies across Northern Ireland.
Working with the local GP practice to offer a pharmacist-led prescribing clinic, Anderson Pharmacy has forged a mutually respectful relationship. The opportunity to share patient records and input into consultations has given pharmacists at Anderson Pharmacy a chance to flex their clinical skills, with two now working in the prescribing clinics. Meanwhile, independent prescriber Raymond Anderson has helped relieve the pressure on GPs by assisting with the practice’s regular medication reviews, formulary development and staff training.
This multidisciplinary approach has been welcomed by patients – most notably elderly members of the community, who are now comfortable seeking advice from the pharmacy team rather than their GP. The addition of Saturday morning remote access clinics in the pharmacy has improved access to hypertension services – their popularity demonstrated by the 93 per cent of patients who rated the service 10 out of 10. Word has spread, and now other local GPs are beating a path to the pharmacy’s door to see if they could repeat this success with further hypertension and COPD clinics.
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