Dispensing Health, the public facing campaign launched by Pharmacy Voice in January 2014, was named best public awareness initiative at the SMART Awards and Conference in Birmingham last night (12 Feb 2015)
The category was open to local or national initiatives and campaigns that had raised awareness of community pharmacy and demonstrated:
– Improved awareness of the role of pharmacists and pharmacy teams
– Measurable recognition and impact scores
– Associated coverage in mainstream media
– Support for new clinical, professional and public health pharmacy services
Dispensing Health aims to raise public awareness of the services available in community pharmacy, and establishes community pharmacy as not simply a dispenser of medicine, but as a dispenser of healthy living advice and services. Research undertaken throughout 2014, as part of the Dispensing Health campaign, showed that public awareness of pharmacy services raised 18% over the course of the year, alongside a noticeable rise in the profile of community pharmacy among the national media, policy makers and politicians during 2014.
Rob Darracott, chief executive of Pharmacy Voice, said:
“Pharmacy Voice is delighted to have won this award, and it signifies the way in which the community pharmacy sector has progressed over the past year. Pharmacy Voice will continue to interact with the public and policy makers in 2015 through the Dispensing Health campaign, which will include emphasis on local engagement.
“We must not underestimate the power and importance of awareness campaigns, such as Dispensing Health, but of course, on their own they don't force change. We must keep the pressure on NHS England, the Department of Health and politicians to ensure they are listening to the community pharmacy sector, which Pharmacy Voice will continue to do over the coming year.”