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Cancer care

More than 100 pharmacy staff sign up to Talk Cancer

Nearly 800 pharmacists, pharmacy staff and students have been trained under Cancer Research UK’s Talk Cancer awareness programme since its launch in 2015.

Donna Reeve, the charity’s facilitator manager for the East of England (left) with pharmacist Leanne Pang

Source: Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK facilitator manager for the East of England, Donna Reeve (left) and pharmacist Leanne Pang

More than 110 pharmacy staff across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex have signed up to specialised training workshops to help them talk to patients who may have signs of cancer.

The training is being given by a specialist team from charity Cancer Research UK to teach pharmacists and counter staff how to spot customers who have symptoms of the disease as part of the wider Talk Cancer awareness programme.

Workshops are being rolled out across the East of England after a successful pilot in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

According to Cancer Research UK, 775 pharmacists, pharmacy staff, and pharmacy students have been trained under the scheme since it launched in 2015.

A total of 33 pharmacy professionals from Suffolk, 45 from Essex and 39 from Norfolk have taken part or signed up to the training programme, which aims to encourage patients to make healthy lifestyle changes, use local services and to see their GP promptly with health concerns.

Cancer Research UK facilitators are working with the pharmacists to help them feel more confident talking about cancer with their customers.

Donna Reeve, the charity’s facilitator manager for the East of England, said: “Research suggested pharmacists wanted to do more, but don’t always feel equipped to talk about cancer or are worried about saying the wrong thing.

“Whether pharmacy staff are giving advice about stop smoking services, buying sunscreen or talking to someone who is concerned about symptoms, Talk Cancer improves their knowledge and confidence to make the most of these conversations and nudge them in the right direction.”

Leanne Pang,a pharmacist who works at Aqua Pharmacy in Ipswich, praised the training she had received. “It’s made me think about things from a patient’s perspective,” she said. “I haven’t had to chat to any patients yet about cancer but I would feel confident to do that now.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205011

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  • Donna Reeve, the charity’s facilitator manager for the East of England (left) with pharmacist Leanne Pang

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