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In focus: A busy year for Pharmacist Support

Pharmacy News

In focus: A busy year for Pharmacist Support

The profession’s charity celebrated its 180th anniversary last year.

Pharmacist Support marked this significant milestone and its evolution from small benevolent fund to modern day independent charity by investing in digital and expanding its wellbeing offering, as well as focusing on equality, diversity and inclusion, and its environmental impact.

“It is important to us that the charity not only reflects current demand but innovates to ensure we are aligned to understand and meet the future needs of our profession,” commented the chair, Esther Sadler-Williams.

“Our support and how it is delivered must be accessible to all – no matter when or where an individual needs support, irrespective of the sector they work in, their age or background. As our charity vision states, we don’t want anyone in our pharmacy family to face challenging times alone and without us by their side,” she said.

New website

During the year the charity launched a new website that provides an improved and more intuitive user experience. The new site can host the Pharmacist Support’s extensive library of digital resources and extends the charity’s support beyond the traditional 9-5 office hours.

In response to issues highlighted in the charity’s joint workforce wellbeing survey with the RPS, Pharmacist Support also expanded its wellbeing offering.

Thanks to funding from the Covid-19 Health Support Appeal, in April the charity was able to address the increased need for mental health support through the launch of a new counselling service and expansion of its Listening Friend peer support scheme.

We’re especially pleased to report that 290 sessions of counselling were delivered to 67 individuals by the end of 2021, many of whom presented with trauma symptoms, arising either from their direct experience of working during the pandemic, and/or from previous experiences of trauma which the pandemic had re-triggered,” said Sadler-Williams.

Esther Sadler-Williams of Pharmacist Support

Emphasis on wellbeing

Other wellbeing developments included the launch of a new Wellbeing Learning platform – facilitating access to the charity’s wellbeing workshop content – as well as the expansion and segmentation of its ACTNow wellbeing campaign.

In 2021 the campaign ran at key points in the year, targeting the specific needs of pharmacy students, trainees and pharmacists. A total of 12,795 acts of support were provided through the website across the wellbeing campaign periods (up from 6,865 in 2020) and over 24,000 acts of wellbeing support were provided via workshops and online wellbeing resources.

“Our impact continues to grow thanks to the strong partnerships we have established across the profession. These partnerships have supported us to increase awareness of our services, as well as help us financially to deliver more support to our pharmacy family. During 2021, we worked with several partners [including] the PDA, Day Lewis, Bestway Medhub, Well and Alphega Pharmacy,” commented Sadler-Williams.

“In May 2021, Pharmacist Support signed the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) Inclusion and Wellbeing Pledge: a commitment to be inclusive, celebrate diversity, create a culture of belonging and support pharmacy teams’ health and wellbeing,” she added.

The charity also welcomed five new members to its board.

The trustees of Pharmacist Support also reviewed the charity’s investment policy. The decision was made to divest from fossil fuel producers by the end of 2022.

To view the full Pharmacist Support 2021 Impact Report, click here.

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