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The Boots Macmillan information pharmacist role seeks to address and breakdown these barriers. It was born out of Macmillan and Boots’ vision that everyone, wherever they are in the UK, has access to the best cancer information and support in their local area.
The pharmacist role will signpost people affected by cancer to expertise, and set out the services available to them in their local community. The creation of the role provides another channel people can choose to access the information they need locally. Boots Macmillan information pharmacists will offer advice in Boots stores, which for lots of people is a trusted, informal and familiar environment. They will also raise awareness of wider Macmillan services.
As well as supporting people living with cancer, the pharmacist role is designed to support Macmillan professionals and assist the work of local information services. Boots Macmillan information pharmacists are encouraged to build links and raise the profile of local Macmillan services.
To complement the work of Macmillan information professionals, Boots Macmillan information pharmacists will deliver cancer information at the Macmillan Interaction Levels 1–2 for information and support services. These will enable Boots Macmillan information pharmacists to understand and identify that people have a variety of information needs, and signpost them to more specialised support, both locally and nationally.
To become a Boots Macmillan information pharmacist, all pharmacists need to complete an e-learning programme, which was developed in consultation with Boots and Macmillan’s Learning and Development Team. It includes compulsory sign up to a Charter of Commitment in which pharmacists agree to seek out ongoing CPD opportunities to improve customer care for people affected by cancer.
Becoming a Boots Macmillan information pharmacist is voluntary, but over 100 pharmacists have signed up so far. It is anticipated that there will be at least 250 trained pharmacists in Boots stores across the UK by the end of September.
Speaking about her role as a Boots Macmillan information pharmacist, Kim Baker said, ‘I like to be on hand to give advice to people on the high street and be that first port of call if anyone has any questions. You get regular customers who really benefit from the advice you’ve given them. It’s also great to be more linked to Macmillan. The training has helped me become the pharmacist I wanted to become.’
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