Healthy Living scheme adopted by Yate pharmacy to improve people’s health

August 30 2016

A PILOT project at a Yate pharmacy is helping to improve the health of people living in the community it serves.

A PILOT project at a Yate pharmacy is helping to improve the health of people living in the community it serves.

Abbotswood Pharmacy is one of a small group of chemists in South Gloucestershire to be included in the Healthy Living Pharmacy scheme.

The aim is for staff to promote healthier lifestyles among its customers, often setting up displays within the premises to get the message across.

Pharmacist Ade Williams said the scheme was a nationwide project but had only recently been started in Abbotswood.

He said: “Those pharmacies chosen to be part of the scheme do not get any additional funding but individually offer to pro-actively work in their communities to bring about positive health outcomes and tackle lifestyle choices that blight the health of their patients.”

Mr Williams said the Abbotswood area had one of the worst health outcomes in Yate.

There were also high rates of diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease and high blood pressure throughout the town, with some people’s problems made worse by smoking, consuming higher than recommended levels of alcohol and leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Choices made by adults affected the health of children and young adults and while working with local GPs to promote healthier living, the pharmacy also wanted to make every contact with its own customers count. 

He said: “As the pressure on GP practices increase, pharmacies are educating local populations by showing how we can help with a range of conditions, while increasing awareness of  the wide variety of available but badly publicised services available at no cost to them from their local pharmacies.”

Mr Williams said engaging displays were already catching the attention of customers, with children even pointing them out to their parents and learning at a young age how their health could be affected by their lifestyle.

Some were not so appealing - such as showing what a cancerous lung looked like - but had a powerful message to put over.

By speaking with customers who might have a health problem worsened by factors such as poor heating at home, the pharmacy staff were also able to point them towards other help.

Mr Williams said Yate Town Council and the Abbotswood Action Group were involved in working to improve the physical environment of the Abbotswood shopping centre and his pharmacy was now working to create a healthier community.