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Free Online Sign Language Webinars Offered to Pharmacy Professionals

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New Directions Pharmacy is providing sector specific training sessions to support inclusivity within pharmacies

Pharmacists across the UK are being invited to take part in a series of free Sign Language webinars to help overcome barriers to communication within pharmacy settings.

The online programme, which will be held over the next two months, is free of charge to anyone working within the pharmacy sector. It has been developed by New Directions Pharmacy to help pharmacists and support staff to learn and use sign language in their daily work lives and help them overcome barriers to communication with their customers, and the public.

New Directions Pharmacy is one of the leading pharmacy agencies in the UK, providing locum and permanent Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians and Dispensers to national and community pharmacies nationwide.

Its ‘Introduction to Basic Sign Language’ course will offer participants three levels of training bespoke to the pharmacy industry across three sessions taking place via Microsoft Teams on 21 September, 6 October and 21 October.

Elen Searle, New Direction’s Head of Pharmacy, said the course had been developed with a breadth of industry knowledge and feedback which New Directions has accrued over many years working within the sector.

“We’re always looking for ways to support pharmacy staff, their customers and the communities they work in, and we’re thrilled to make this course available to everyone working in pharmacy settings,” said Elen.

“This course has been tailored specifically towards the pharmacy sector. It’s being delivered on a complimentary basis to help the industry as a whole to make the pharmacy experience as comfortable and supportive as it can be for everyone. Whether it’s for a pharmacy in a small rural village or a large city, we know sign language skills can make a significant impact for communities in all corners of the country.

“With further awareness, we want to help open every door possible to those with communication difficulties, as well as those with hearing disabilities, and have put this course together as a way of giving back to those working within the industry in return for what they have shared with us over the years.”

The webinars will be delivered by accredited trainer Derek Tune, who has taught sign language to thousands of children and adults for over 20 years.

Derek said:

“If we think about the many reasons why someone has cause to visit a pharmacy in the first place, it’s not hard to see how asking for support might feel even more difficult for those with communication barriers in their way to begin with.”

“More often than not, customers are dealing with issues either on behalf of themselves or their loved ones that are highly personal, and approaching these with a degree of sensitivity and understanding is a routine part of the day for pharmacy staff nationwide.

“For me, it is essential children and adults understand sign language just as much as any other language, therefore, and removing or reducing barriers to support effective communication within the pharmacy or any other healthcare setting is an important place to start.”

New Directions Pharmacy is a preferred supplier to both local and independent pharmacies, large national companies and supermarkets, and public sector organisations such as the Ministry of Defence, the prison service and hospitals.

For more information on the Introduction to Basic Sign Language course, visit: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/168403424175

If anyone isn’t able to attend the first session on September 21st, catch up opportunities are available ahead of the following sessions.