Celesio UK, parent company of LloydsPharmacy and AAH Pharmaceuticals, has today announced that over 10,000 of its colleagues have become Dementia Friends with more than 60% of people working in LloydsPharmacy stores having completed the training.
The company, which has been corporate partners to Alzheimer’s Society since 2015, pledged to make all colleagues Dementia Friends in a bid to increase knowledge and gain greater understanding of those living with the condition.
Pharmacist Jess Follows learning and development partner for Celesio UK and a Dementia Friends Champion, says: “It’s important to have an understanding of such a debilitating disease that affects 850,000 people in the UK who are living with the condition.
“It’s not just about our colleagues becoming Dementia Friends though; it’s about raising awareness of the condition. Talking to our patients, customers, friends and family about the disease and encouraging them to also become Dementia Friends, in the hope that we, together, can build dementia friendly communities across the whole of the UK.”
Cormac Tobin, managing director of Celesio UK, comments: “We have been supporters of the Dementia Friends movement for a number of years now and I am exceedingly proud of the way my colleagues have embraced the initiative. I believe as healthcare professionals direct in the community we are ideally placed to support those with dementia.”
The initiative has been further supported by its inclusion in the government’s new Quality Payment scheme for pharmacy.
Part of the new funding package for community pharmacy requires pharmacies to demonstrate that 80% of employees have trained as Dementia Friends.
Cormac continues: “I think it’s great that the government is putting so much emphasis on the initiative within the pharmacy setting. Becoming Dementia Friends is a great way of showcasing what community pharmacy can do in supporting a specific health condition; where pharmacy can really add value for patients.
“Although the cuts are hitting the sector hard, this is one initiative we at LloydsPharmacy were behind from the start. I look forward to achieving a position where every colleague in our business is a Dementia Friend. Imagine the difference we can then make to our patients, our patients’ family and anyone else impacted by this terrible condition.”
Celesio UK has included the training within its induction programme, and encourages colleagues to take it one step further and become a Dementia Friends Champion, training and supporting people across the business.
LloydsPharmacy is running a Focus Week this week (27th February) to encourage more colleagues to become Dementia Friends.