Categories: Press


Published date : 17 Aug 2020

Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP, Jenny Gilruth, made her first constituency visit since the start of lockdown to thank lead pharmacist Bernadette Brown and her team at Cadham Pharmacy Health Centre for supporting their local community during Covid-19.

The visit (on Friday 14 August) was an opportunity for Jenny to learn more from the team about their innovative ways of working to help the most vulnerable people in North Glenrothes during the pandemic.

During her visit, Jenny also heard from Watch Commander Dougie Pollock about the pharmacy’s partnership working with fire brigade volunteers as well as Collydean Community Centre manager, Rose Duncan, who has worked with the pharmacy to support local people.

Adjusting to the new normal, the Cadham team have helped provide families with food parcels whilst collecting prescriptions; made themselves available for a cuppa and a chat with older residents experiencing loneliness; delivered around 600 prescriptions and food parcels through fire brigade and other volunteers; and set up a new patient access app for video consultations with parents and their children.

The MSP’s visit coincided with the launch of the new NHS Pharmacy First Scotland, which means community pharmacies, such as Cadham Pharmacy, can now provide expert help for treating minor ailments along with common clinical conditions.

Pharmacy teams will offer advice, treatment or referral to other healthcare teams if required. The move will allow Fife residents to access the right care without having to visit their GP pharmacy or an A&E department for non-urgent treatment.

A&E departments remain open for emergency care – with the necessary public health measures in place to protect staff and patients.

Speaking after her visit, Jenny Gilruth MSP said:

“Our pharmacies have been there for us throughout the coronavirus pandemic as a lifeline service offering advice and continued access to medicines at a time of great anxiety about health.

“Berni and the team at Cadham Pharmacy have helped local people overcome the challenges posed by Covid-19 through innovative and partnership working. I was moved by their stories of finding new ways to get the job done safely and with care and compassion for their patients. My heartfelt thanks go to them and all of our pharmacy teams across Mid Fife and Glenrothes for stepping up during this crisis.”

On the launch of NHS Pharmacy First Scotland service, the MSP added:

“The launch of NHS Pharmacy First Scotland means that people will get the right care and medical support closer to home – often with no waiting time or appointments needed.

“In recent months, perhaps more than ever, the NHS has been there to protect us – but many of us don’t need to visit A&E to get the care we need.

“This new service will provide a local approach to ensure the community has access to healthcare for more minor ailments. For example, those in need of expert help could reach out to the likes of Cadham Community Pharmacy instead of having to make an appointment with their GP or go to A&E.

“Please remember that in an emergency you should always contact 999 or go to your nearest accident and emergency department.”

Bernadette Brown, the lead Pharmacist at the Cadham Pharmacy Health Centre, said:

“We have been keeping in touch with Jenny throughout the pandemic and were delighted to welcome her to the pharmacy to talk about our partnership working and new approaches to caring for people during lockdown.

“The national Pharmacy First NHS service is a wonderful addition to the care we can offer all family members as it is free to everyone in Scotland.

“This means that we are just the same as the GP practices in this respect for minor illness and the public can access highly skilled healthcare professionals for many conditions from head to toe.

“We have been experiencing a huge increase in the numbers of families reaching out to us in the last few weeks for consultations for many common clinical conditions and minor ailments. When talking to them they tell me it is because we are so easy to reach and access.”


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