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Monday 20 May 2019
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Pfizer and Pharmacy Voice launch campaign encouraging the public to make effective use of local NHS services

Right Route: Right Care campaign aims to reduce inappropriate use of A&E services and improve the speed in which patients are able to receive healthcare advice

A new version of the Right Route: Right Care campaign launched today by Pfizer Healthy Partnerships (PHP) with endorsement from Pharmacy Voice, aims to support pharmacy teams in encouraging the public to make the most effective use of their local NHS services, using a simple traffic light system.
Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments are facing increasing pressure, with the number of people attending A&E for minor ailments rising 11 times the rate of the population increase between 2004/5 and 2012/13. (1) This campaign uses a traffic light system to highlight that pharmacists are well positioned to provide general health advice in the community and welcome people to come and discuss their health concerns with them, such as minor ailments, rather than going to A&E.
This winter just passed has shown once again that A&E departments face overwhelming demand and we need to start to change behaviour to help ensure a sustainable national health service. We need to help educate people so they can choose the most appropriate healthcare service. This is why we are very happy to support the Pfizer Healthy Partnerships Right Route: Right Care campaign which champions just that.” says Rob Darracott, Chief Executive of Pharmacy Voice. “Community pharmacies are the most accessible healthcare provider, a pharmacist is a qualified healthcare professional with five years of training and is always on-site to offer treatment and advice. Many community pharmacies also have extended hours and weekend opening.

The campaign, designed to signpost patients to the most appropriate NHS service and highlight the role of community pharmacy, can help increase pharmacist engagement with patients and therefore provide further opportunities for them to identify the need for services such as the New Medicines Service (NMS), Medicines Use Reviews (MURs) and Health Checks.

The Right Route, Right Care campaign was first launched by Pfizer Healthy Partnerships in September 2014. During the initial rollout, a survey conducted in 125 people in one pharmacy found that 17% were visiting the pharmacy practice as a result of a campaign. (2) The campaign materials have now been updated with new statistics to continue to drive the most effective use of NHS services.
The Right Route: Right Care campaign resources include:

  • Implementation guide – providing background information, tips and advice for using the materials and launching the campaign (in English)
  • A poster – available in six languages: English, Polish, Punjabi, Urdu, Russian and Welsh
  • A patient leaflet – available in six languages: English, Polish, Punjabi, Urdu, Russian and Welsh

The Right Route: Right Care posters and leaflets have been designed for display both in the pharmacy and the wider community in order to reach a large audience with their important public health messages. Tips and advice on working with community groups and local authorities to promote the campaign are included in the implementation guide, along with additional suggestions on engaging with local media to broaden the campaign reach. Pharmacists wishing to take part can find out more and order copies of the Right Route: Right Care Campaign materials at and in the patient materials section within the Enhancing The Patient Experience pages.
Reducing the burden on A&E is a particularly important challenge for the NHS and Pfizer recognises that increasing awareness and use of pharmacy services is one of a number of solutions to managing some patients’ health problems outside of A&E,” said Alison Wheeler, Head of Customer & Channel Marketing. “Pfizer Healthy Partnerships focuses on providing information and resources to support pharmacists in their daily practice. The Right Route: Right Care campaign is the latest addition to this support and aims to provide a tool to meet the current needs of pharmacists, particularly those working in areas where there is a high demand on A&E services.


  1. Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). Focus on Accident and Emergency. December 2013. Available at: Last accessed March 2015.
  2. Lane A, The Slough Project, Optimising Patient Use of NHS Services; Alchem Pharmacy Slough, 2013.

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