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The pharmacy hashtag craze

There is a highly effective way to show the world just what a difference pharmacy can make to people’s lives, as Mohammed Hussain reveals...


Over a number of years, a grassroots social media event celebrating pharmacy has grown from strength to strength.

#Pharmacy24 has been an annual international event to celebrate the breadth and diversity of pharmacy. It has been one of the busiest days of the pharmacy calendar, usually during the Easter holidays. This year, #Pharmacy24 has made a comeback!

After a break over the past two years, I worked with Propharmace and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in February and March to bring back this event to celebrate and showcase all aspects of pharmacy practice. In addition to Twitter, this year’s event has been expanded to cover other social media platforms including Instagram, LinkedIn and Tik-Tok.

The theme for #Pharmacy24 this year is pharmacy in a pandemic. Following a year where the coronavirus pandemic has challenged us all, the aim this year is to showcase and highlight the contributions that pharmacy teams have made and continue to make in responding to the pandemic, and the diversity within our profession.

The posts included examples of the care that pharmacy teams provide, how the pandemic has changed practice, the way care is now being delivering to patients, and examples of how pharmacy team have contributed to the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

One of the other key goals for this year was to act as a time capsule, capturing this unique moment of pharmacy during a pandemic. The RPS museum can then store this valuable archive for future generations.

#Pharmacy24 is open to everyone in pharmacy and to all sectors - pharmacy professionals, prov and pre-registration pharmacists, students, pharmacy teams, researchers, academia and, above all, the public.

This is pharmacy, where we invest our discretionary effort to go far beyond the minimum required to support patients and give purpose to our work. In the year of one of the biggest health challenges known in history, everyone is invited to help celebrate the contribution of pharmacy in keeping the public safe.

This year we have also had the unique cohort of provisionally registered pharmacists, registered by the GPhC because the pre-reg exam was postponed, and due to the need to ensure the pharmacy workforce was not depleted. Their experiences are also shared.

The passion, purpose and diversity showcased by #pharmacy24 demonstrates that notwithstanding the disruptive effects of the pandemic faced by all professions and industries, pharmacy can rise to the challenge and continue to provide great care.

#Pharmacy24 was co-created by Alistair Murray, Simon Harris, Ravi Sharma and me over coffee at Green Light Pharmacy in November 2014. How could we promote the difference pharmacy makes and encourage more people to get involved, we pondered?

The answer was #24hrsinPharmacy in 2015. The following year it became #pharmacy24. Over 21 million twitter impressions were created in the last #pharmacy24 event.

This year the steering group was expanded to include colleagues from the BPSA, PSNC, APTUK, GPhC, PDA and others. We also extended our engagement to international partners to have a wave of #pharmacy24 messaging sweeping across the globe.

From midnight to midnight, as the day line swept from Australia to the Middle East, Europe and finally to North America, #pharmacy24 tweets moved around the globe. Indeed, #Pharmacy24 was a top trending hashtag for much of the day.

The most commonly used words during #pharmacy24, demonstrating the values of pharmacy, were people, patients, team, care, support.

What I love about #Pharmacy24 is that it's open to everyone. My takeaway from this year was the breadth and diversity of the profession - more diverse than even many pharmacists believe. This is a profession I am proud of and that was one of the aims of #pharmacy24 - to celebrate pharmacy.

The passion, purpose and diversity showcased by #pharmacy24 gives me confidence that notwithstanding the significant disruptive forces of the 21st century, pharmacy can rise to the challenge and continue to provide people with great care, especially during a pandemic.

 

Mohammed Hussain is a non-executive director at Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust and an independent contractor.




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