In March 2014, The Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety launched an updated strategy ‘Making it Better through Pharmacy in the Community’ setting the future direction for pharmacy services in the community. The strategy recognises pharmacists as advocates for public health, and community pharmacies as frontline neighbourhood resources for improving health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities.

To ensure the success of the ‘Making it Better through Pharmacy in the Community’ strategy an implementation plan has been designed. As part of this important strategy a working group of professional and representative bodies (PPRB) chaired by Pharmacy Forum NI with CPNI, NPA, PDA and UCA to work collaboratively to deliver a number of key actions;

  • Revising community pharmacy working practices to support the roles and services advocated by the strategy

  • Communicating the role of community pharmacy through pharmacy’s representative bodies to increase public and professional awareness of the role of pharmacy in medicines optimisation and public health.

The PPRB will also work with the Pharmaceutical Society NI to;

  • Support change through professional standards and guidelines, by ensuring that professional standards and guidelines are updated to support delivery of the Strategy’s objectives.

Our aim is to increase the utilisation of pharmacists’ clinical skills in the delivery of services in the community and greater collaboration of pharmacists with other health and social care professionals to demonstrably contribute to the improvement of the health of the population.

To achieve our aim we will require your support to help promote the role of community pharmacy though a number of health campaigns.

We have already been working collaboratively to support the Health and Social Care Board’s ‘Choose Well’ campaign as well as other campaigns which promote our profession like ‘Ask your Pharmacist Week’. Over the coming months we will be supporting campaigns with a clear message for people to use community pharmacy as the first contact point for advice on medicines and common health concerns. We will also be highlighting the uniqueness of community pharmacy as a key provider of a range of healthcare services.

To help ensure our messages reach the widest possible audience a PPRB communications sub group has been set up. This sub group is chaired by CPNI with support from HSCB, NPA, PDA, Pharmacy Forum NI and UCA. We will be using a number of different platforms including emails, information sheets and online platforms such as Twitter to galvanise support. We will also be encouraging pharmacists to use #ThinkPharmacyNI when tweeting pharmacy related activities.

We will be keeping you up to date on planned events and we will circulate any relevant campaign information to you. If any community pharmacists are willing to take part in promotional activities such as event participation or media work please get in touch.

We look forward to your further engagement with our promotional plans.

Yours Sincerely

Members of the PPRB Working Group PPRB Working Group

Commutations Sub Group Members

Julie Greenfield, Chair, Pharmacy Forum NI

Vanessa Chambers, Deputy Chair, CPNI

Stephen Slaine UCA

Anne McAllister NPA

Harry Harron PDA

Cathy Harrison, Department of Health

Jude Austin, Chair, CPNI,

Victoria Knowles Anne McAlister, NPA,

Harry Harron PDA,

Colm Burns Pharmacy Forum NI,

Adrienne Clugston UCA,

Fidelma Magee, DoH

Pamela Yeh HSCB

Tracy McAlorum HSCB

Representative PHA

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