Under a pioneering new scheme expected to receive approval this month, the MHF will be teaming up with Royal Mail to explain the advantages of pharmacy services to men.
The MHF's 'Men & Pharmacy' project, which aims to find why men make only limited use of pharmacies at present and how this might be improved, will be targeting men in a large work-place — a Royal Mail site - with specially-designed, 'male-friendly' information which will explain what services are offered by local pharmacies and encourage men to use them.
This is just one of the suggestions in the project's scoping paper which also includes a review of the current literature around the public health role of the pharmacy and data on men's current usage. The paper will be discussed the project's expert advisory group in October.
MHF director of operations Stephen Sibbald who is leading the project said: 'There will be a further research phase to be carried out in November involving focus group discussions with both pharmacists and men in the workplace, the outcomes of which will feed into a pilot intervention project in spring next year.'
The project will be completed next summer and it is hoped that the findings will encourage the roll out of similar initiatives across the country.
MHF president Dr Ian Banks said: 'Pharmacy services have a potentially significant role to play in improving the unacceptably poor state of men's health.
'They are an invaluable and underused source of health information and advice for men on lifestyle issues such as smoking, alcohol use, weight management and physical activity. They could be used as a major triage service, directing men to the best available source of help, as there is evidence that men are more likely to visit their GP if they have been advised to do so by another health professional.'
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Page updated on December 1st, 2009