Promoting you and your services

This year’s Ask Your Pharmacist (AYP) Week takes place on 5 to 12 November. Here’s a heads-up to the campaign.

WHAT IS AYP WEEK?

The initiative forms a key part of the NPA’s public awareness programme and provides a platform to raise the profession’s profile across the UK. It also serves as a prompt for conversations between stakeholders at a local level about community pharmacy services.

WHAT IS THE THEME THIS YEAR?

It will be based around the topic “Let’s talk about medicines safety”. In setting this theme, the NPA was mindful of an objective in the Department of Health and Social Care Report of the Short Life Working Group on Reducing Medication Related Harm. This promotes joint decision-making and “healthy challenge” between patients and healthcare professionals, with patients and carers playing a more active role in their medication management.

WHAT ARE THE KEY MESSAGES?

•  Medicines have the power to harm as well as to heal. Used inappropriately, medicines can lead to hospitalisations, serious injury and even death.

•  Full and frank conversations with health care professionals, including your pharmacist, will help you get the most from your medicines and minimises the risk of harm.

•  Check with your pharmacist  anything that is unclear about the explanations or advice that he or she has given to you; one way is to repeat what you think the pharmacist means in your own words and ask: “Is this correct?”

•  If you want to talk to the pharmacist in more depth about your medicines, ask if you are eligible for an NHS medicines advice service designed to help you get the most out of your medicines (e.g MUR).

•  Be the “ME” in “MEDICINES SAFETY” – take an active role in managing your medicines, alongside the health care professionals that support you. Being part of your own medicines safety team involves you giving clear information and demanding clear advice.

WHY ENGAGE IN AYP WEEK?

•  Improve safe medicines use amongst patients

•  Raise awareness and appropriate uptake of the NHS medicines advice services available in your pharmacy

•  Achieve positive publicity for your pharmacy locally

•  Reinforce the message that community pharmacists are accessible and approachable medicine experts

•  The NPA is making free of charge rescources available to you

• To be involved email s.fishwick@npa.co.uk

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