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