Well, after a temporary break from the normal easy-going vibe of my article, I’ve decided to move back to more laid-back material for this month’s article. I’ll slip the next mini rant in when you’re least expecting it!


Like many of you, I was delighted to hear that we will be having yet another general election this December. They might as well just run the vote alongside Saturday night’s Strictly Come Dancing phone in vote. Now, as someone who has worked in community pharmacy all of my adult life, this comes as something as a shock as we’re not even allowed to take a days holiday in December and it’s now apparently fine to change the whole government during the most frantic month of the year.

I get tired of all the campaigning and think that a lot of it is pretty easy to see through. I appreciate that it has to be done, as similar to marketing what you sell in the shop, you have to appeal to your target audience. I was interested to hear that Boris Johnson’s team is targeting a demographic they’ve entitled ‘Workington Man’ in an attempt to increase their chances of winning. Now I think that stereotypes like this are a bit demeaning but funnily enough we are guilty of it ourselves in the pharmacy. Our ‘Workington Man’ is a guy often in his twenties who often calls us up asking if he needs any jabs for his trip to South East Asia departing next week.


When I’m ‘doing’ my vaccinations, patients often (sometimes) comment on how painless they are in a way that sounds like they’re a little disappointed. I do say that I can make private jabs more memorable if that makes them seem more worthwhile of the outlay.

It’s nice to receive such feedback but I’m quick to concede that the painless nature of the jabs is largely down to how fine and sharp the needles are nowadays. The logic is that if you praise the tools when things go well, you can also blame the tools when they don’t.

A patient who worked in a hospital a number of years ago (code for many) recounted a tale of one of their jobs when they were starting out. Needles were reused back then and therefore had to be far sturdier. They were routinely sent down to the engineering department to have the needles sharpened on a grinding stone. Now I dare anyone to complain about the needles we use nowadays.


There has been a movement over a number of years to get community pharmacies to do much more than just dispense prescriptions. We currently do this and offer as many services as we feel we can run well and also that are funded appropriately. We’ve had many disappointed patients asking for the NHS Health Check service that we used to run until the council withdrew funding and we’ve also seen funding cut for the stop smoking service we provide.

We have resisted a push for pharmacies to become something called healthy living pharmacies. We already do much of what qualifies a pharmacy as one but becoming one formalises things somewhat.

I’ve had to finally concede as it has become part of the new pharmacy contract, so if you go looking for L’Occitane smellies and find a display showing you how much sugar is in a can of coke then you know who to blame.

I would like to make it clear that becoming a healthy living pharmacy in no way affects our ability or willingness to receive cakes and biscuits for Christmas, as this does not kick in until the New Year!


We can administer your travel vaccines* and provide antimalarials: • Diphtheria Tetanus and Polio • Hepatitis A

• Hepatitis B • Japanese Encephalitis • Meningitis ACWY • Rabies • Tick Borne Encephalitis • Typhoid

We can also vaccinate against Meningitis B (from 2 years old) Chickenpox, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) for both boys and girls

Vaccinations require a consultation with our trained pharmacist and some need to be started weeks before travelling. We aim to give you comprehensive advice and carry a range of vaccines. Many patients have received their vaccination the same or next day at a price that matches or beats most other clinics. * Please note that these are private services and are therefore chargeable. We are not a designated Yellow Fever centre.


We are still offering our ‘drop in’ service with short waiting times and large vaccine stocks.

✔ Over 65’s ✔ Under 65’s ✔ Private Jabs for those 9 years and over (just £10.00)

✔ Cumbria Council flu jab vouchers accepted If you are eligible for a FREE NHS flu jab, then you are

welcome to have it with us regardless of which GP surgery you are registered with, as long as it is in the UK.

FREE Prescription Collection and Delivery Service Unsure if your prescription is ready? We can send you a text message to let you know when it’s ready

For further information on our services please visit our website or follow us on Facebook or Twitter

31 Main Street, Cockermouth CA13 9LE Monday to Friday: 8.30am - 6.00pm and Saturday: 8.30am - 4.00pm | 01900 822 292 ISSUE 437 | 21 NOVEMBER 2019 | 15


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