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Pfizer and Pharmacy Voice launch NHS campaign

Campaign aims to reduce inappropriate use of A&E services 

Pfizer HQPfizer has teamed up with a major pharmacy group to help reduce the strain on hospital admissions in the UK and ensuring that patients gain the right information about their healthcare.

The new 'Right Route: Right Care' campaign has been launched this week by Pfizer Healthy Partnerships (PHP) with endorsement from Pharmacy Voice.

It aims to support pharmacy teams in encouraging the public to make the most effective use of their local NHS services, using a simple traffic light system. 

Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments are facing increasing pressure, with the number of people attending A&E for minor ailments rising 11 times the rate of the population increase between over the past decade. 

This version of the campaign uses a traffic light system to highlight that pharmacists are well positioned to provide general health advice in the community and welcome people to come and discuss their health concerns with them, such as minor ailments, rather than going to A&E. 

It also falls in line with a new aim from the government to use pharmacists more for general medical help in order to ease pressure of GPs and emergency departments. 

Rob Darracott, CEO of Pharmacy Voice, said: “This winter just passed has shown once again that A&E departments face overwhelming demand and we need to start to change behaviour to help ensure a sustainable NHS. We need to help educate people so they can choose the most appropriate healthcare service. 

“This is why we are very happy to support the Pfizer Healthy Partnerships Right Route: Right Care campaign which champions just that.”

He added: “Community pharmacies are the most accessible healthcare provider, a pharmacist is a qualified healthcare professional with five years of training and is always on-site to offer treatment and advice. Many community pharmacies also have extended hours and weekend opening.”

The campaign, designed to signpost patients to the most appropriate NHS service and highlight the role of community pharmacy, can help increase pharmacist engagement with patients and therefore provide further opportunities for them to identify the need for services such as the New Medicines Service (NMS), Medicines Use Reviews (MURs) and Health Checks.

The Right Route, Right Care campaign was first launched by Pfizer Healthy Partnerships in September 2014. During the initial rollout, a survey conducted in 125 people in one pharmacy found that 17% were visiting the pharmacy practice as a result of a campaign.

The campaign materials have now been updated with new statistics to continue to drive the most effective use of NHS services.

The Right Route: Right Care campaign resources include:

·         Implementation guide - providing background information, tips and advice for using the materials and launching the campaign (in English)

·         A poster - available in six languages: English, Polish, Punjabi, Urdu, Russian and Welsh

·         A patient leaflet - available in six languages: English, Polish, Punjabi, Urdu, Russian and Welsh.

Alison Wheeler, head of customer and channel marketing at Pfizer, said: “Reducing the burden on A&E is a particularly important challenge for the NHS and Pfizer recognises that increasing awareness and use of pharmacy services is one of a number of solutions to managing some patients' health problems outside of A&E. 

“Pfizer Healthy Partnerships focuses on providing information and resources to support pharmacists in their daily practice. The Right Route: Right Care campaign is the latest addition to this support and aims to provide a tool to meet the current needs of pharmacists, particularly those working in areas where there is a high demand on A&E services.”

Article by
Ben Adams

10th April 2015

From: Healthcare

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