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Pharmacy Group Wins UK Award for Using Social Media to Help People Quit Smoking

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A Welsh pharmacy group has been recognised at a national awards ceremony for its work using social media to help people quit smoking.

The Mayberry Pharmacy Group, which has six pharmacies across South Wales including chemists in Pontypool, Caerphilly, Blackwood and Newport, made its own YouTube film and developed a support text service to help 250 people kick the habit.

In winning the prestigious Online Health Initiative of the Year Award, judges at the Chemist and Druggist Awards said the group’s efforts had helped improve the lives of both individuals and the wider population in South Wales. As well as targeting smokers, Mayberry Pharmacy’s online initiatives also helped people with longer term medical conditions such as stroke and asthma access pharmacy services designed to improve their lives.

Staff made a YouTube film, which has had more than 8,000 views, and developed a support text service to help smokers using its cessation service cope with their cravings. Further health campaigns they developed using Facebook and Twitter helped reach new patients with long terms medical conditions leading to more people accessing free NHS services such as Medicine Usage Reviews through its pharmacies.

The annual Chemist and Druggist Awards are recognised as one of the industry’s highest accolades. This year’s ceremony was held at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport where more than 600 of the industry’s leading figureheads joined together to celebrate the achievements of independent pharmacies throughout the UK.

Paul Mayberry, Managing Director of the Mayberry Pharmacy Group, said:

“We are delighted to have been recognised by one of the industry’s most prestigious awards ceremonies for our work using online platforms to engage with more patients and help improve their lives. Our smoking cessation service in particular is one of the most successful in the UK helping nearly 4 in 5 participants give up for good.

“Our goal is to help more people know about the support and services available in their local pharmacy that can help improve their lives. Having a long term medical condition isn’t easy, but your local pharmacy can help and it is important more people know this. Our branches are healthcare centres on the high street and we want more people to use them so our pharmacists can help improve the health of even more people’s lives.”