A Ripon pharmacy is leading the way in a pioneering scheme offering new health services to local residents.
The independent Spa Pharmacy in Westgate, Ripon, launched a new health partnership scheme with a celebration opening ceremony.
Spa follows its sister stores, Marsden Pharmacy in North Street, Ripon, and Marsden Pharmacy in Leeds Road, Harrogate, the first in the country to sign up to Careway, which is run in partnership with Celesio UK.
The Spa Pharmacy team will now offer a new approach to community health as part of the Careway scheme, which brings together the state of the art services of larger brand name pharmacies with the local passion and knowledge of a trusted independent pharmacy team.
The ribbon was cut by local radio presenter Alex Cann, fresh from his morning slot at Stray FM.
The Spa Pharmacy team now offer free, enhanced services for a range of conditions, including skin health, pain management, smoking cessation and anti malaria. They also have a high-tech addition, a skin analyser machine.
The pharmacy’s new skin offering covers all aspects of skin health from medicines management advice for people on prescription treatment to medicated skin products.
Pharmacy manager Clare Taylor said: “We’re proud to be pioneers in this project. It will do so much to help patients help themselves.
“We want to help people feel confident about discussing their health problems. Instead of going to their GP or A&E for minor ailments, people can receive expert advice here.”
Clare said some patients were reticent about going to the doctor’s too often and they could pop into the Spa Pharmacy instead. “We provide services that complement those of other healthcare professionals, giving one-to-one support in modern surroundings,” she said.
Another team member, Paula Hixen, welcomed the new skin analyser machine. “It’s marvellous,” she said. “It looks at different features, including hydration and elasticity, using scientific probes and a micro-camera. The results help us recommend care routines.”
Pain management is another area where Spa Pharmacy now offers enhanced support. It also runs a free prescription delivery service and a loyalty card scheme.
The pharmacy team has a great understanding of the healthcare needs of the local community through many years of experience.
Spa has a nine-strong team and Clare has 11 years’ service, Paula nine, Penny Scatchard 12 and Beth Bradley two. Former co-manager Graham Atkins has recently retired after 12 years’ service.