The Building the Community-Pharmacy Partnership Programme presented the successes of the programme to members of the Health and Social Care Board at a public meeting held today at the Jethro Centre, Lurgan.
The Building the Community-Pharmacy Partnership Programme started almost 12 years ago and is a partnership working arrangement between the Community Development and Health Network (CDHN) and the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB). The programme provides support and funding to local collaborative projects between community pharmacies and community/voluntary groups to address local health-related issues.
The on-going programme seeks to successfully tackle health inequalities by investing in a community development approach and has delivered 627 community aiding projects so far to establish sustainable improvements in health and well-being.
Dr Brenda Bradley, Pharmacy Lead for the Health and Social Care Board said, “This is an excellent example of partnership working at a range of levels. Evaluation of the projects has shown impressive results, and demonstrated a range of health benefits for those who have taken part in the programme. It is particularly encouraging to see that participants felt that their health had improved as a result of getting involved, and that there was a marked improvement in their mental and emotional well-being.”
Today’s presentation demonstrated that the Building the Community-Pharmacy Partnership Programme has delivered; improved accessibility and responsiveness regarding engagement in local services, enabling change in the use and understanding of community pharmacy and associated services and perceived improvements in health and understanding of how to take increased responsibility for health.
Sharon Bleakley, Programme Manager for the Building in the Community-Pharmacy Partnership Programme and the Community Development and Health Network commented, “Building the Community-Pharmacy Partnership has been highly successful in engaging local communities, particularly marginalised and vulnerable groups, with their community pharmacist. The project pharmacists involved work to meet the needs of the community. Over the years many health issues have been focused on, including; mental health, sexual health, nutrition, physical health and drug and alcohol misuse. This partnership approach has demonstrated how pharmacists and communities can work to improve local wellbeing.”
One of the successful projects delivered by the programme is the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum. This community led health improvement project brought together many different groups and agencies to enhance the health and wellbeing of the people in the locality.
Seamus Ward, General Manager of said; “This project has enabled us to engage with a group we traditionally found very hard to target. Our Teenage Lifeskills programme is now embedded in the community and we have developed a strong mutually beneficial relationship with Killian, our pharmacist, and this has led to many more partnership programmes being offered from our centre. Our experience through working with the BCPP Programme has, for the better, changed our approach to engaging with our community.”
In line with HSCB’s commitment to equality and to promote good relations, the programme specifically targets groups who are socially excluded and marginalised.
For further information from the events or to learn about the work of Building in the Community-Pharmacy Partnership Programme, visit the Community Development and Health Network website and or call 028 3026 4606.