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PR campaign is working, says Pharmacy Voice

Dispensing Health was not a 'one-hit' campaign and Pharmacy Voice will continue to work to raise pharmacy's profile, says chief Rob Darracott

The results of a series of YouGov surveys show Pharmacy Voice's Dispensing Health initiative is making the public more aware of pharmacy services, says chief executive Rob Darracott


Increased public awareness of pharmacy services is proof that Pharmacy Voice's campaign to boost the sector's image has been successful, it has told C+D.

YouGov online surveys before and since the representative body launched its Dispensing Health initiative revealed that awareness of pharmacy smoking cessation services rose from 44 per cent to 62 per cent.

Public recognition of minor ailments schemes in pharmacies increased from 48 per cent to 62 per cent, showed the polls, which each had more than 2,000 respondents. Awareness increased from 31 per cent to 48 per cent for healthy living services, Pharmacy Voice said on Monday (August 11).

The representative body attributed the "significant increase" to the combined success of its Dispensing Health PR campaign and NHS England's 10-week campaign to encourage patients to visit a pharmacy, both of which launched in January.

Commissioning of certain services, such as flu vaccinations, was still variable across the country and Pharmacy Voice wanted to prompt the public to question this, he said.

"At the same time, we will continue to stress that pharmacy offers instant [contact with] a health professional with access to a wider range of medicines and treatments than other outlets," he added.

As part of the Dispensing Health campaign, which was first announced in October, Pharmacy Voice sent case studies of pharmacists supporting their communities to a range of media outlets. The campaign was due to run for two years and would also involve sending display materials to pharmacies, Pharmacy Voice said at the time.

Increasing public awareness of pharmacy services

Source: YouGov survey conducted on behalf of Pharmacy Voice, October 2013, January 2014 and June 2014. Sample sizes, respectively: 2,068, 2,086 and 2,742. Percentages indicate proportion of respondents who think community pharmacies offer services in the area indicated

Has your community become more aware of the services your pharmacy offers?

We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

More evidence required and a long term strategy for all community pharmacy stakeholders.

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

The university of Durham managed to get a piece on pharmacy on Teletext this morning - not earthshattering, I know, but how often have we heard or seen anyone else giving us positive news? Come on Mr Darracott climb Big Ben or something, anything to get pharmacy some press.

Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist


Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

yes! - it still exists and some of us (or is it just me?) oldies look at it for news that doesnt make the presented news - generally because they didnt have any pictures to support it and it wasnt important enough to send a talking head. frequently more interesting than the "tv" news.

Stewart Laing, Non healthcare professional

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

""Increased public awareness of pharmacy services"" and ""Awareness increased from 31 per cent to 48 per cent for healthy living services""


""Just 6 per cent would choose pharmacy for healthy living advice"""

Who is accurate?? More important is who will NHS England commissioners trust??

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