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Why I took to radio to promote pharmacy

Thorrun Govind says she has found a niche way to promote community pharmacy in the current “doom and gloom”.

Locum pharmacist Thorrun Govind is encouraging the public to call in to her one-hour monthly slot on Radio Lancashire, so she can help patients with their common minor ailments and better inform the public of pharmacists’ skills.

Ms Govind said the sector is “not very good at promoting itself,” and after completing work experience with her local radio station, she recognised there is a market out there for a phone-in show with a resident pharmacist.

“You see doctors everywhere in the mainstream media but you don’t see pharmacists much to be honest,” she told C+D last Thursday (November 10).

“People don’t seem to appreciate the kind of free advice you can get from a pharmacy. We just need to get better at getting that message out there,” she added.

The first show – which aired on November 7 during Ask Your Pharmacist Week – saw Ms Govind tackle subjects like the flu jab, night-time urination and advice for patients driving while on medication.

“As a community pharmacist you are used to being faced with unusual situations every day, so I’m not worried about the types of calls we might get to the show,” Ms Govind told C+D.

"Doom and gloom"

“There is quite a negative light [in the sector] at the moment. Everything seems to be doom and gloom,” Ms Govind said, referencing the government’s decision to cut 12% from the pharmacy budget from December.

"This is something that the government has imposed on us," she said. But “we have to stand up for ourselves” and promote the good work of community pharmacy, she added.

“It starts with your local pharmacy. I’m not hiding the cuts from patients. I’m being honest with them and saying that we’ll do our best to continue to support them and provide the best care we can.”

As a prolific Twitter user, Ms Govind said she has also been in talks with schools of pharmacy about promoting social media use with their students.

"That way we have more people who know these platforms and can spread the positive work of community pharmacy," she said.

"Patient contact makes my job worthwhile"

Ms Govind said while a lot of her friends have chosen to “go down the hospital pharmacy route”, because of the more straightforward career paths available, she still enjoys the regular patient contact she gets from a community setting.

“One of my patients recently bought me a pair of microwavable slippers,” she said. “I love those sorts of connections you make with people; it makes the job so much better.”

You can next listen to Ms Govind on December 5, on the John Gillmore show, Radio Lancashire

What are you doing to help promote community pharmacy?

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