Service case study: Hull pharmacy wins Flu Fighter carers award (May 2015)

Published on: 3rd September 2015 | Updated on: 28th March 2022

The team at Newland Community Pharmacy in Hull, one of the top-performing pharmacies in the Carer Friendly Pharmacy pilot, have had their work recognised by the Flu fighters awards.

The annual ceremony celebrating the success of local flu fighter campaigns introduced a new award this year: the Flu fighter carers award. This award was added to highlight how teams have used the newly available resources for carers within their organisation and Newland pharmacy’s team managed to increase uptake of flu vaccinations by an impressive 150% compared to last year.

So how did they do it?

Newland Community Pharmacy had already been accredited as a Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) and provided a flu vaccination service, so they were already involved in several initiatives to support their patients. Then, after deciding to get involved with the Carer Friendly Pharmacy pilot (run by Carers Trust and Community Pharmacy England), it seemed only natural for them to link together their support for carers with signposting those carers into the additional services the pharmacy team could provide there and then, such as flu vaccinations.

A ‘flu helper’ was appointed so someone on the team had the specific role of discussing the benefits of flu vaccination with eligible patients who came into the pharmacy. Carers in particular are short of time, so many patients commented on how much more convenient it was to visit the pharmacy rather than needing to find time to book and attend GP appointments for a vaccination.

The whole pharmacy team are trained in identifying and approaching possible carers and two designated ‘carer champions’ are on hand to talk to carers about how they are coping, the types of support them may need, and raising awareness of the resources that are available to them.

Why should other pharmacies get involved in supporting carers?

Yvette Oliver, manager at Newland Community Pharmacy, is enthusiastic about the Carer Friendly Pharmacies pilot and wants to share some of her experiences with other community pharmacies to encourage them to get involved in supporting carers.

1. Yvette thinks pharmacies should be used to help signpost members of the public more.

“We are the front line to the community and have a wide knowledge on a medical and person level.  Almost all pharmacies have a consultation room and most are active in services so have the experience to collect information and refer to the appropriate organisation.”

2. Yvette feels a sense of accomplishment each time a carer returns to the pharmacy after being signposted to a useful service or resource and is glad that her team has now found that those patients will come in and freely talk about their situation.

“One lady has been looking after her husband in his palliative care and had concerns of how she would sort out the financial side of things, telling me he does all that. After getting in touch with the local carer service she came into the pharmacy with a big smile and said that she now has a plan in place and it has taken a big weight off her shoulders and is now looking at going to their carers coffee mornings so she doesn’t feel as isolated.”

3. Yvette tells us she recently attended a ‘Partners in Health’ course which brings carers together with people from across the health sector and “when I heard about the Carer Friendly Pharmacy pilot I was excited to be part of it.”

To find out more about the Carer Friendly Pharmacy pilot visit and read Community Pharmacy England Briefing 001/15: Support for carers – how community pharmacy teams can help.

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