Newsletters to promote pharmacy services to the public

Newsletters to promote pharmacy services to the public

As part of work to engage with patients and members of the public, North East London (NEL) LPC launched a project in 2013 which eventually saw more than 600,000 members of the public updated on community pharmacy services via newsletters delivered to their homes.

The LPC developed six customised newsletters to be dropped through letter boxes in six Boroughs throughout the autumn of 2013. Each one was designed to inform the public about a range of pharmacy services and issues including:

  • community pharmacy services – patients were encouraged to visit their pharmacy for help with winter ailments and services such as flu vaccinations, and the newsletters featured key facts on pharmacies in each borough;
  • the Electronic Prescription Service and Repeat Prescription Services – these were explained to patients and they were given a form with which to nominate their local pharmacy to receive their prescriptions;
  • the need to protect community pharmacies – using quotes from local MPs, the LPC highlighted some of the risks facing community pharmacies and explained the damage that losing pharmacies could do to local communities.

The leaflets also featured a range of supportive comments from local councillors and patients, and members of the public were asked to complete a short survey saying what extra services they would like to receive from pharmacies.

Hemant Patel of NEL LPC explains that the LPC decided action was needed to promote local pharmacies and all the services they can offer to patients, and to find out what more patients might be interested in receiving from them. The LPC used a copywriter and designer to help with the work, and then had to negotiate with a distributor. Another key piece of work was engaging with their contractors so that pharmacy teams knew this was coming and would not be taken by surprise by patients talking to them about it.

“The reaction has been absolutely incredible,” Hemant says. “Many pharmacies have had extra copies of the newsletters available to hand out, and some patients have been asking for extra copies to give to people in their families or they have had their own ideas about what additional services they would like to receive from their pharmacies.”

The newsletters can be downloaded below and LPCs may find these helpful if they are considering similar initiatives in their own regions.

Barking & Dagenham Public Newsletter

Havering Public Newsletter

Newham Public Newsletter

Redbridge Public Newsletter

Tower Hamlets Public Newsletter

Waltham Forest Public Newsletter

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