We spoke to member Ronak Manek, Operations Manager for Kasli Pharmacy (part of K.K Healthcare) in Nuneaton to find out how providing a smoking cessation service has impacted on their staff, customer relations and supported the community in which they serve.
The pharmacy has set themselves apart as the pinnacle provider winning multiple awards for its smoking cessation service which is commissioned by Warwickshire County Council’s Public Health Department and supported by NHS Warwickshire Stop Smoking Service. The pharmacy won the ‘No Smoking Day’ award for the past two years’ running, awarded by the BHF as part of their Organiser of the Year competition as well as The Pharmacist Award – Smoking Cessation Provider 2016.
“The benefits of running the service both to the pharmacy and to our customers have been enormous. Not only are my staff more confident, but the upskilling and fun element of organising the surrounding recruitment campaigns has given them a greater job satisfaction – which is clearly visible from their enthusiasm when you come into the pharmacy.
We can see the direct effects that promoting a healthier lifestyle through the provision of the service has had on our customers. We have received some great feedback from customers for whom a change in lifestyle has had a huge impact on their quality of life.”
One customer commented, “After just popping in for some Nicorette patches, I ended up signing up for a course of Champix. The service, support and care were fantastic - I would recommend it to anyone. A year later and I feel great… and smell lovely.”
The pharmacy is HLP accredited and has been for the last 3 years and ran number health promotions within the past two years – something that has been key in helping the pharmacy to engage new patients into the service. Ronak shared with us the benefits his pharmacy has enjoyed as a result of their engagement with HLP as well as the challenges that his team has overcome.
“Becoming HLP accredited was a no-brainer for us. HLP is all about providing a good service within the community and as we were already doing that, it wasn’t such a huge step to making it official. The team here are really proud that our Smoking Cessation service is one of the top performing services in Warwickshire and has even landed us an award for ‘Best Pharmacy Activity’.
“The key barrier we had to overcome was upskilling our staff. We began the journey by upskilling our staff and providing them with the MECC training – Making Every Contact Counts. This assisted in increasing confidence and engagement with our patients. for the smoking advisors they went on to attend the mandatory 2 day face to face training, followed with all our staff signing up to and completing the NCSCT online training – we included all the staff as we felt it was important that all the staff were able to give out good concise stop smoking advice.”
The team are now very actively involved with the recruitment and organise a lot of promotional activities around the service which provides an element of fun and helps our patient’s enthusiasm for quitting. Examples of what they have done include social media campaigns featuring testimonials from patients they have supported to quit successfully, using promotional collateral around the pharmacy including window posters and even dressing up as a cigarette!
We have an abundance of support for members to set up services including smoking cessation, blood pressure testing, cholesterol testing, diabetes testing and sexual health services as well as providing guidance on recruitment campaigns to engage patients into the services.
In addition Numark’s new Numark+Training platform provides hundreds of training modules for all members of the pharmacy team from pharmacy owners, to managers to counter staff on a variety of subjects to include setting up a new service, to engaging customers into it and many more articles to help your team gain confidence in their customer service skills.