Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Essex cancer awareness project wins top award!

AN Essex project using community pharmacies to help fight cancer by raising awareness and boosting early detection has won a top award.

The Essex Cancer Network and the Essex Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) has won best public health initiative of the year in the Chemist+Druggist national pharmacy awards.

The project raised the awareness of the signs and symptoms of skin and colorectal cancer through local pharmacies across Essex.

The initiative involved training for pharmacy staff and pharmacists on skin and bowel cancer symptoms and saw information leaflets, posters, patient feedback cards and a skin cancer quiz developed in order to engage the public.

During the month of the campaign, 8,869 information leaflets were distributed initiating 4,667 conversations in pharmacies about cancer. A total of 6% (161) of these interactions resulted in the pharmacist advising the person to see their GP because one or more symptoms had been identified that may be indicative of cancer.

When asked, more than 93% of the members of the public indicated they had a greater awareness of the symptoms of cancer following the conversation.

The award judges said: “This is a great example of pharmacy leadership
resulting in partnership working, leading to raised public awareness and
identification of people at risk of cancer.”

Sue Maughn, Essex Cancer Network Director, said: “We are thrilled to have won
this prestigious award.

“Feedback from pharmacy staff involved in this project and members of the
public has been extremely positive.

“Even though the topic of cancer can be sensitive, by working to support
pharmacy staff with training and giving them effective materials to engage the
public, we have shown that pharmacies can effectively communicate public
health messages.

“We will look to build on this work to bring further positive campaigns to Essex in
our fight to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage early diagnosis and
treatment, which can be life-saving.”

Ash Pandya, Essex LPC Chief Executive, said: “What this project shows is that, if services are commissioned well, then pharmacists can deliver a range of clinical or public health initiatives to the local population.”

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