Services Database Promoting Awareness, Early Detection and Prevention of Cancer to the public from Community Pharmacies in the Essex Cancer Network Area

Service ID



The Essex Cancer Network (ECN) commissioned a cancer awareness campaign, in February 2012, using community pharmacy to increase public awareness of certain specific cancers with the aim of improving knowledge of signs, symptoms, risk factors and prevention.

During the campaign:

  1. Display the four posters in a prominent position within the pharmacy for the duration of the campaign.
  2. Display the specified leaflets in the pharmacy for the duration of the campaign. Record the number of leaflets taken or given out each week during the 4 week campaign.
  3. Hand out entry sheets for the cancer awareness quiz draw, collect entries. Record the number of entries returned and forward all of them at the end of the campaign for entry into the central prize draw.
  4.  Actively engage in conversation about cancer symptoms and cancer risk reduction with people in the target age ranges. Supply information leaflets if required.
  5. Pro‐actively approach customers buying medicines or products that may be used to treat ‘red flag’ symptoms, give them a leaflet and inform them why you are providing this leaflet with this sort of purchase. Be ready to respond to any queries that they may have, and refer to the pharmacist if necessary.
  6. Anyone with red flag symptoms must be referred to the pharmacist. Pharmacists should determine whether the person should see their GP. There is no formal referral process, pharmacists must use their clinical judgement and local knowledge when deciding how best to make a referral or advise the patient to see their GP.
  7. If someone is advised to see their GP some effort should be made to determine the outcome, either by asking the patient when they are next in the pharmacy or by receiving feedback from the GP. Case studies should be recorded anonymously and forwarded at the end of the campaign.
  8. Gather information relating to consultations and conversations with customers about these cancers on the data collection form. This is a single line entry for each consultation, mostly tick boxes.
  9. Collect patient feedback using the cards supplied; submit all the feedback cards at the end of the campaign.
  10.  Note any comments from the public, positive or negative.

Location of service

Essex LPC


Other: The Essex Cancer Network.

Method of commissioning


Source of funding


Service type


Other organisations involved


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In 2010 the training package for pharmacy staff was facilitated by the specialist training team from the National Pharmaceutical Association (NPA) and supported by local cancer specialist nurses.