Alphega Pharmacy Oncology Support Programme allows community pharmacists from six European countries to enhance support and guidance they provide to cancer patients.
The programme aims to help upskill pharmacists and their teams to provide more expert advice to patients living with cancer, raising their profile in the community as key healthcare providers.
Enhancing knowledge amongst community pharmacists about cancer treatment and its side effects is vital as cancer cases are set to increase if current trends continue.
The programme covers practical help topics, such as oral care, nutrition advice and skin, hair and nail care among others, helping patients to get more of the support they need because community pharmacists are easily accessible, rather than needing to book a GP or consultant appointment.
With rates of cancer forecast to rise throughout Europe , and cancer patients likely on average to visit hospital less often, community pharmacists are well-placed to look to support cancer patients with managing the side-effects of their treatment.
Furthermore, during treatment cancer patients are likely to see a pharmacist more often than a doctor. This trend is set to increase as more treatment is delivered orally at home, rather than intravenously in a hospital environment.
Mariola Valero, Head of Value Proposition from Alphega Pharmacy said: “Going through cancer is all consuming – physically and mentally – that’s why it’s so important to have someone you can count on easily accessible.”
“The Alphega Pharmacy Oncology Support Programme is designed as a helping hand in times of need. We’re hopeful that the supportive care and expert pharmacist advice that Alphega pharmacists are now better able to offer can help make the difficult journey of treatment a little bit easier for oncology patients and their carers.”
“Our pharmacists are trained to facilitate conversations that encourage patients and caregivers to open up about their needs, offer empathetic support, suggest products and other useful information that can help patients to better manage the side-effects of their treatment – both physical and mental. Finally, when treatment ends, our pharmacists can help patients connect with strategies that enable them to return to ‘normality’ sooner.”
The Alphega Oncology Support Programme is available exclusively to Alphega Pharmacy members. So far, the programme has been available to just over 2,180 pharmacists and Alphega is now planning a series of additional training resources which will focus on prevention and early detection of cancer. Access to the training, and more information about it, is available to Alphega members through their dedicated Alphega consultant.