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AIMp launches campaign to recognise pharmacy's COVID-19 contribution

The campaign hopes to show politicians why they “need to back, support and cherish the sector”
The campaign hopes to show politicians why they “need to back, support and cherish the sector”

A campaign to recognise the contribution community pharmacy has made during the COVID-19 pandemic has been launched by the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp).

The campaign’s objective is to encourage pharmacy leaders to highlight how vital community pharmacies have been in supporting patients through the outbreak.

As part of the national campaign, contractors are being asked to collect positive feedback from patients on A4 posters designed by AIMp, featuring the hashtags #pharmacyheroes and #frontlineheroes.

Where possible, pharmacies are also encouraged to ask patients to have their photograph taken holding up their feedback poster.

The pictures will then be used by AIMp to create a “virtual postcard”, which can be sent to local MPs to help bring attention to the challenges that community pharmacy is facing.

The final stage, which will take place after lockdown measures are lifted, is for contractors to invite their local MP to visit the pharmacy to help raise the sector’s profile in parliament.

“Brave and courageous”

AIMp chief executive Leyla Hannbeck told C+D today (April 21) that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the value of community pharmacy, and said she hopes the campaign will help demonstrate to politicians why they “need to back, support and cherish the sector”.

“During this COVID-19 period we have seen community pharmacy absolutely pushed to the limit and also going above and beyond. Despite all the risks to staff, they have been brave and courageous to get out there every day and deliver services to patients – and this has been picked up by patients across the country,” Ms Hannbeck said.

“As a sector we have been able to put forward the community pharmacy case – that we are part of the healthcare system – and we should continue to do so,” she added.

Pharmacies wishing to take part need to submit their photos to AIMp by Monday 27 April. These will then be published on the organisation’s Instagram page, before being made into a virtual postcard. AIMp is also providing a template letter that pharmacies can send to their local MP.

AIMp has sought legal guidance on obtaining consent from patients. In a statement published yesterday (April 20), the organisation said it had been advised that it is only necessary to obtain verbal consent, but that it nevertheless recommends pharmacies “make a note of this consent” on the patient's medication record.

More information is available on the AIMp website.

Do you welcome AIMp's campaign?

Linda Victoria, Community pharmacist

Sadly we still have ungrateful people who complained that our pharmacy opens shorter hour even though is only an hour late and shutting an hour early. Because of that we now change back to normal working hour , just half an hour a day to catch up. Still hear people saying that they talk to pharmacy as if talking to brickwall...well.. people still mourn this and that. Helpless world to be honest.. even though we risk our lives to work and getting people coughing at our face.. Absolutely not worth it.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Personally, I am of the opinion people who are of this disposition should be told, politely, that this is what is happening, and no amount of complaining is going to change it. By allowing that behaviour to continue, it sets up the premises to a much higher level of pressure, in my opinion.

Joan Richardson, Locum pharmacist

More likely to get complaints and abusive comments than anything positive!

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

Imagine if RPS or in a parallel universe the GPhC(After Rudkin finishes beratingLocums for daring to earn money) did something similar......

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Is that the same universe with the unicorns and fairies in it where pigs can fly?

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Good, welcome campaign but it shouldn't be necessary. We, as a profession care more than GPs do (try seeing a GP right now) yet GPs are treated as though they save the world on a regular basis while we are seen as rather less than shopkeepers (although I have felt that some of the general public recently have begun to appreciate what we do for them)

Meera Sharma, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

Great inititive and much needed. Well done!!!

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