head on by upskilling ourselves to provide a top-class service to our patients.

‘Over the last few years, for example, all of our staff have been trained in dementia-friendly practice so that we can provide our patients with both the knowledge and the support that they – and their families – need. From bringing the first signs of dementia to the attention of family members, GPs or social services, to ensuring that we provide a first-class, dementia-friendly service to our patients, we have tailored our entire service within the pharmacy to providing a consolidated, age-appropriate quality of care that is required by them.

in Glasgow which will be staffed by nurses and doctors, and where addicts will be given access to drugs they’re taking in a safe environment; some sort of ‘shooting gallery’. Apparently, if it’s successful, it will be rolled out across Scotland, but I really wonder about it. I’m equally dubious about methadone having any sort of success rate. I’ve been in pharmacy now for 24 years and I have patients, who are still on it. I always make it clear, of course, that I’m there if anyone needs my help to get off methadone but, in 24 years, I’ve only had one patient that I managed to get off it through a ‘blind’ reduction, where I reduced his methadone at intervals by five per cent, replacing it with five millilitres of the same syrup. It took him a year and a half to get off it but it was very successful. It may seem like a long time, but if you’ve been on it for 20

years, a year and a half is nothing.’

Over in the north-west of Edinburgh, meanwhile, Barnton is perhaps best known formerly as home to the Royal High School of Edinburgh and more latterly as home to Harry Potter author, JK Rowling.

This fairly affluent suburb, where the average house price is over £265,000, is home to almost 27,000 people, of whom only 9.1 per cent are claiming key benefits (almost half of the national average) and only 5.5 per cent are claiming pension credits (as opposed to Calder’s 24.6 per cent).

Barnton doesn’t share Calder’s high deprivation category score, probably because the ward in which it is located – Almond – has the highest percentage of over 80s in the whole city.

‘Our demograph certainly has the highest percentage of that particular age group,’ says pharmacy contractor, Sally Arnison, who co-owns Barnton Pharmacy with business partner, Leanne Carey. ‘But, while we may not have the issues that are experienced by pharmacies such as Charles’ – we have only a handful of methadone patients and little of the social hardship that he encounters on a day-to-day basis – we have our own, different issues to deal with. Although this area is fairly affluent, for example, the fact that a lot of our patients are ageing means that we deal on a daily basis with a vast range of ‘elderly diseases’, such as dementia.

‘For that reason we have to tailor our services to that particular demograph – as any community pharmacy has to. We’ve tackled issues such as dementia

‘Our elderly patients aren’t our only concern, of course. The fact that we have such a high percentage of elderly patients means that we have a mortality rate in this ward that’s probably higher than in most others, and, over time, we’re noticing a change in the face of the community, with new, younger, primarily middle-class families moving in. Over time, this will change the nature of the service that we provide to our community, with the focus increasingly falling on issues that affect pregnant women, young children and babies. As with any good community pharmacy, however, we will tailor and consolidate our pharmacy services to provide whatever support and guidance that is needed by our patients.’ •


THE STATISTICS The most recent official population estimates (2014) are 464,990 for the city of Edinburgh and 492,680 for the local authority area, mak- ing Edinburgh Scotland’s second largest city after Glasgow and the seventh largest in Britain

19.5 per cent of Edinburgh’s pop- ulation are in their 20s (exceeded only by Aberdeen) and 15.2 per cent are in their 30s - which is the highest in Scotland

83 per cent of Edinburgh residents (335,000) were born in Scotland, with 58,000 or fourteen per cent born in England

Picture courtesy of Marketing Edinburgh

47 per cent of the non-UK born population in Edinburgh is of European origin, which is amongst the highest for any UK city.


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