Many respiratory patients need to take a variety of tablets and use a wide variety of inhalers. And it is vitally important that they use their medication correctly.
This was the message delivered to the April meeting of Breathe Easy Causeway by Rasharkin Community Pharmacist, Mr Patrick Kennedy.
Kennedy’s Pharmacy was awarded the BLF Breath of Fresh Air Award last year, for services to respiratory care in the community.
Mr Kennedy told the meeting that a new service of support for COPD patients (those suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) was soon to be launched throughout Northern Ireland.
Expert tuition for pharmacists in COPD treatment is to be provided by the Northern Ireland Centre for Postgraduate Learning and Development.
Mr Kennedy said: “It is an advice programme that is open to all community pharmacies.
“I am sure most community pharmacists will be only too keen to enrol for the service to benefit the well-being of those people battling severe breathing problems.”
He added: “It is vitally important that all patients use their medication correctly. In other words, do what it says on the leaflets accompanying their medication and listen to the advice of their doctors and pharmacists.”
Mr Kennedy emphasised that this was not the only advice service offered by local pharmacists.
His pharmacy at Rasharkin gave daily advice on healthy lifestyles – weight control, blood pressure and cholesterol checks and exercise regimes, to name but a few.
In particular, he pointed out that a recent weight management programme, “The Biggest Loser”, which was a big success in the Rasharkin area.
Fifty-nine people took part in the nine-weeks programme spearheaded by a local sports club and the participants lost a total of 84 stone.
Meanwhile, the April meeting was told about the recent success of fund-raising by Breathe Easy Causeway, a subsidiary of the British Lung Foundation.
The recent “Big Breakfast” at the Bay View Hotel, Portballintrae, raised over £1,200.Local support at this event was outstanding.
The group are also indebted to Officers & Members of Kilrea and district Bowling Club for their generous donation of £439 at recent Church Service in First Kilrea.