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Welsh pharmacies boost MUR numbers under stroke campaign

Public health Pharmacists in Wales conducted 406 more MURs in May than average, as part of the national Lower Your Risk of Stroke campaign.

Pharmacists in Wales conducted 406 more MURs in May than average, as part of the national Lower Your Risk of Stroke campaign.

Public Health Wales (PHW), which ran the campaign with the seven Welsh health boards, Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW) and the Stroke Association, reported last week (August 21) that pharmacies in Wales carried out 10,000 MURs on patients targeted by the campaign.

This was 406 more MURs than the average during the four months leading up to the campaign and 288 more than in May 2012, the PHW report revealed.

Eighty per cent of pharmacists in Wales used an MUR consultation to discuss the risk of stroke with at-risk patients during the campaign, the PHW revealed

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According to the report, 560, or 80 per cent, of pharmacies in Wales used at least one MUR with patients with high blood pressure or atrial fibrillation to discuss the risk of stroke. This was a small increase in the number of pharmacies that usually use MURs to target these patients, it said.

PHW recommended that future national campaigns be planned "so as to fully utilise the potential" for pharmacy.

CPW chief executive Russell Goodway applauded the campaign for its impact on an "important area of public health". He highlighted that pharmacies were also able to push additional services during the campaign, including smoking cessation and the Home from Hospital service, which helps patients recovering from strokes.

PHW principal pharmacist Andrew Evans said the report highlighted pharmacy's effectiveness as "a means of engaging with a large number of people face-to-face and getting the message out about stroke".

"We've helped people learn not only how to recognise a stroke, but how to avoid one by making healthier lifestyle choices and taking their medicines effectively," he added.

Last month, pharmacies in Wales were involved in the Look After Your Eyes health campaign and will be launching a winter wellness health drive in October – the last of three public health campaigns Welsh pharmacies are contracted to deliver each year.

Should public health campaigns be written into the pharmacy contract elsewhere in the UK?

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