Scarborough is the testing ground for a new campaign designed to change men’s attitudes towards health and raise awareness of how their local pharmacy can help them.
The ‘no more niggles’ campaign, developed by NHS North Yorkshire and York, is the first of its type to take place anywhere in the country. It forms part of a national Department of Health pilot to explore ways to increase the profile of pharmacy amongst specific groups of people including men. The campaign in the seaside resort will run for three months. Lessons learned will be shared with other NHS organisations elsewhere in the country.
The MHF, who have a long-standing interest in persuading men to use their local pharmacy, are right behind the initiative. MHF president Dr Ian Banks said: 'I have a niggling feeling that this hugely valuable campaign is just the start of men’s better use of a marvellous resource, the pharmacy.
'It will however, take the combined efforts of politicians, the DH, GPs, the media and of course pharmacists themselves to make sure this amazing opportunity is not missed.'
Awareness of how their local pharmacy can help them is low amongst men with many surprised to learn of the range of services on offer and the level of pharmacists’ qualifications.
Dr Phil Kirby, Associate Director of Public Health for NHS North Yorkshire and York said: 'Our research shows that a lot of men don’t think it’s the done thing to pay attention to their health and never get around to seeing their GP. We see great potential for pharmacy to act as the first port of call for men wanting advice on health issues, so it’s essential that we make them aware of what pharmacy can offer.'
The campaign, which involves a range of advertising initiatives around the town, promotes the key characteristics of pharmacies including:
The campaign uses beer mats, urinal stickers, bus adverts and other promotional activities including targeting female customers leaving pharmacies as an indirect route to reaching husbands and partners.
The origins of the campaign go back to 2008 when Department of Health research highlighted that several segments of the population - including men - that didn’t use their local pharmacy to its fullest potential. In 2010, the government invited PCTs to participate in a pilot to explore ways to raise the profile of pharmacy. NHS North Yorkshire and York was chosen based on its proposal to target men, especially those aged 40-55 living in Scarborough which is known for its high levels of health deprivation.
Page created on March 14th, 2011
Page updated on March 14th, 2011