The National Pharmacy Association’s (NPA) annual Ask Your Pharmacist week gets underway today (Nov 1).

The initiative organised by the pharmacy body along with the NHS aims to build public awareness and understanding of community pharmacy services and the role of pharmacists.

Themed ‘Your local pharmacy in the NHS family,’ this year’s programme will run through to November 9.

The NPA hopes it will not only raise awareness of pharmacy services but also prompt conversations with key stakeholders at a local level about the role and benefits of community pharmacy.

According to an opinion survey carried out for the NPA in June, 30 per cent of people are unaware that community pharmacies are part of the NHS, despite the fact that pharmacies are the most visited healthcare setting in the country.

“This year’s Ask Your Pharmacist week is a chance to further establish in the public’s mind that community pharmacies are a key member of the NHS family,” NPA head of communications Stephen Fishwick said.

“The better it’s understood that community pharmacies are part of the NHS team, the more people will be willing to access NHS services in pharmacies and support the further development of integrated, patient-centred care.”

Campaign material, including a short animated film can be viewed and downloaded on the NPA website.

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