DUP Deputy Leader Paula Bradley MLA commends efforts of local community pharmacy team in Glengormley

DUP Deputy Leader and North Belfast MLA Paula Bradley has paid tribute to her local community pharmacy team for its commitment to supporting the local community during the Covid-19 pandemic, including the successful rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination at local level.

Ms. Bradley was visiting Medicare at the Tramways Shopping Centre, Glengormley to hear how services have been put in place to support the changing needs of patients in the community during the course the past 17 months. In the flu vaccination service, for example, a record 17,000 people received a winter flu jab via community pharmacy which was critical to preventing additional flu pressures during the second wave last autumn/winter.

Medicare, Tramways Centre is one of over 300 community pharmacies across Northern Ireland currently participating in the Covid-19 vaccination programme. Over 62,000 have been administered since community pharmacy was brought onto the programme at the end of March.

This complements day-to-day activities such as the dispensing of medicines and issuing of expert clinical advice. Community pharmacies now operate an Emergency Supply Service to ensure the continuity of medicine flow to patients throughout the community – with approximately 5,000 items dispensed per month, alleviating pressures felt across the health service, particularly with respect to GP waiting lists.

Speaking after the visit, Paula Bradley MLA said:

“It is always fantastic to call into my local community pharmacy and hear first-hand from the teams working tirelessly to be there for the local community of North Belfast who depend on their services, advice and care.

“The pandemic has made accessible and convenient healthcare all the more important. We have seen this through the success of the Covid-19 vaccination programme through community pharmacy to date.

“Building upon this, continued access to medicines, clinical advice and key services is absolutely vital. There can be no doubt that community pharmacy is a key component in our health service and has an important role to play in the rebuilding of services looking ahead.”  

Ryan Catney, Area Manager of the Medicare Pharmacy Group said:

“We welcomed the opportunity to speak with Paula on the work we have been doing to date with regards to pandemic response.

“Our teams, not just in Glengormley, but across Northern Ireland have shown a real strength of dedication to patients in the local community throughout the course of the pandemic. Whilst it has been a hugely challenging time, ensuring the continuation of services and support has been what has driven us on so it was great to talk to Paula about our work to date.  

“Looking ahead, we hope to build on this engagement and explore new ways to make sure community pharmacists can play an even greater role in delivering healthcare to local communities.”  

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