Men’s health on the agenda

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SCARBOROUGH has been chosen as the first location in the country for the launch of a new men’s health campaign.

The ground-breaking “No More Niggles” campaign aims to change men’s attitudes towards health and raise awareness of how their local pharmacy can help them.

Information leaflets were given out about the campaign outside Poundland in Westborough on Saturday.

National and local research shows that men generally choose to ignore minor symptoms and health concerns in the hope that they will simply go away.

Awareness of how their local pharmacy can help them get things sorted is also very low, with most men being surprised to learn of the range of services on offer and the level of pharmacists’ qualifications.

The campaign, developed by NHS North Yorkshire and York, forms part of a national Department of Health pilot to explore ways to increase the profile of pharmacy amongst specific groups of people.

Dr Phil Kirby, associate director of public Health for NHS North Yorkshire and York said: “Men’s health is a really interesting topic and one that is quite often overlooked.

“Few people realise that men generally don’t live as long as women and one of the reasons for this is because they’re simply not as proactive in getting things checked out as women are.

“Our research shows that a lot of men don’t think it’s the done thing to pay attention to their health and never get around to seeing their GP.

“We see pharmacy as the perfect first port of call for men wanting advice on health issues, so it’s essential that we make them aware of what pharmacy can offer.”

The campaign, which involves a range of advertising initiatives around the town, promotes the key characteristics of pharmacies such as on the spot health advice with no appointment necessary, private consultation rooms, highly qualified staff and convenient opening times.

David Squire, pharmacist at Squire’s Chemist in Falsgrave Road, said: “I’m sure I speak on behalf of all of the 15 pharmacies in Scarborough when I say we wholeheartedly support this campaign and see potential in men making better use of our services. My message to men in Scarborough would be that if you have any health concerns, no matter how trivial they appear, pop down to you local pharmacy.”

The campaign has received backing from the President of Men’s Health Forum, Dr Ian Banks, who said: “I have a feeling this campaign is only the start of better use of a marvellous resource, the pharmacy.”

To find their nearest pharmacy, men in Scarborough can text ‘niggle’ to 64746 to receive a free text message telling them where their nearest three pharmacies are.