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MediCare Pharmacist, Anna McLaughlin Wins Pharmacy in Focus' "Working in Partnership" Award

MediCare Pharmacy Group wish to extend a Huge congratulations to Anna McLaughlin from our Thornton's branch for winning the Pharmacy in Focus' " Working in Partnership" Award sponsored by Bestway MedHub for her fantastic contribution to Mind Your Mate & Yourself (MYMY) Mental Health Charity.

Pharmacy in Focus is UCA's (Ulster Chemist Association NI) official magazine in Northern Ireland which communicates the latest professional News. The Awards take place each year and shine a light on great achievements throughout community pharmacy.

"With continued talk about GPs’ workload and healthcare, stretched to its full capacity, the capacity for community pharmacy to clinical care cannot be over-emphasised. To optimise this contribution, multidisciplinary team working opens up access to primary care and helps to reduce the pressure on other healthcare services. As such, collaboration between different healthcare professions is vitally important." - Pharmacy in Focus

Anna's award is a result of her work alongside Mind Your Mate & Yourself mental health charity. Mind Your Mate & Yourself (MYMY) supports individuals, who are suicidal, in distress, or self harming by providing advice, information and appropriate services.

According to the BCPP News, the aims of the project were to reduce health inequalities for women whilst increasing their knowledge and raising awareness around the issues that affect their health.  It also aimed to help the women reconnect with their community after the lockdown and isolation caused by the pandemic. Anna, integrated the ‘5 steps to wellbeing’ into the project and created a safe relational space where participants shared their vulnerabilities. Many of the participants were too nervous to sit in a room together, so Anna held sessions outdoors.

Meeting Anna and working with her over the months created an accessible link for members of the community to a medical professional. The women openly discussed that they were burnt out mainly due to Covid-19 and struggled with many issues. Some of the women had not realised that their local Pharmacist can play a huge role in the community, providing health advice with no appointment required.  

Anna's involvement in sessions to educate women on how wider social factors affect their health meant she could empower them with the skills to tackle their issues. Anna, in her philanthropy created a safe space where participants could share their vulnerabilities with a medical professional, making her an extremely worthy recipient of this Award!

Speaking to BCPP News Anna said:

I really looked forward to our Wednesday afternoon meetings. As the weeks progressed, we emerged from the isolation of lockdown, gained confidence and and formed friendships. We explored different topics each week including gut health, diabetes and arthritis. I was able to encourage the group to go to their pharmacies and get health advice there. I would like to thank BCPP for giving me the opportunity to work outside the pharmacy building and connect with the community, find out about the ladies in my group and help them in any way I could.

A participant in these sessions wished to thank Anna:

Many thanks to Anna for all her advice, for listening and arranging our visits and to all the speakers for guiding us through many areas of our health and wellbeing. It has been a relaxing and enjoyable time spent with a lovely group of people.

Congratulations Anna, a worthy winner indeed!

MediCare Pharmacy Area Manager Donal McManus, Andrea McEvoy and Pauline Strachan (pictured) presented Anna with a bouquet of flowers outside our Thornton's branch where Anna works.