Northern Ireland’s chief pharmaceutical officer paid a visit to a community pharmacy in Belfast on Monday (November 7) — marking the end of this year’s Ask Your Pharmacist week, an annual public awareness campaign launched by the National Pharmacy Association.
Cathy Harrison interacted with patients and staff in the pharmacy before recording a video to promote NI’s ‘Pharmacy First’ service in which she described community pharmacies as “one of the front doors to the health service” with over 500 outlets located across the country.
“In our community pharmacies you can always rely on friendly staff, medicines expertise, and walk-in access to face-to-face advice,” she said.
First launched in Scotland, the NHS Pharmacy First service enables patients to have a consultation with a pharmacist for advice on minor ailments.
Ms Harrison also drew attention to community pharmacy’s role in cancer awareness and helping people to quit smoking, as well as managing patients with urinary tract infections, in addition to playing their part in delivering Covid-19 and flu vaccinations.
The CPhO’s visit was co-hosted by the NPA and Medicare, Northern Ireland’s largest pharmacy group with 53 pharmacies.