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News Report Page 10 of 14
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3 years on from the referendum can co-operation bring the North West back together?

3 years on from the EU referendum which has divided both communities and families, co-operatives up and down the country are coming together in 2 weeks of unity during Co-op Fortnight, 24 June to 7 July 2019. With new research showing that 58% of people think their community is more divided since Brexit, Co-op Fortnight is a chance to celebrate what can be achieved when we work together. Co-operatives are businesses that are owned and controlled by their members, together contributing ₤36bn to the UK economy and spanning all sectors from high street retailers to community owned pubs, fan owned football clubs to farmer controlled businesses. During the next 2 weeks, these member owned organisations will be carrying out:- 'acts of co-operation' such as community clean ups or collecting donations for food banks, and encouraging members of the public to join in and share the power of co-operation on social media.

Be Caring is an employee owned provider of domestic social and healthcare support that was formed in the North East and now operates in:- Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. In the run up to Co-op Fortnight, they'll be holding a series of coffee and cake sessions across the North. It's a chance for their carer members to get together and talk about what's important to them. Putting people before profit and campaigning for better pay in the sector, Be Caring regularly brings carers together to help improve their lives. Unlike private homecare providers, any surplus generated is reinvested into their workforce and communities. "At these sessions, we'll be asking our carers how they want to be supported. We want them to tell us what they want. We need to know what's important to them," says Project Manager, Sarah Robertson. Be Caring also regularly brings service users from their Leeds service together:- "We pick them up and take them to the coffee shop in our building", says Sarah. "Our carers chat with them and play games for a couple of hours so they don't feel socially isolated."

Sarah finds being part of co-op is a rewarding way to provide care:- "The difference between working for a privately owned care company and being part of a co-op is amazing. Being in a co-op is all about making a positive difference, rather than making money. That's why I joined the care sector in the 1st place; to make a difference in communities, and to make a difference to providers as well. And that's why we're supporting Co-op Fortnight, so we can celebrate our carers and say a big thank to you to all of them for their valuable work."

Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK said:- "Co-ops around the world share the same strong values and principles, and all year round they have a positive impact on the communities in which they are based. We're coming together during Co-op Fortnight to show everyone why co-operation is what the world really needs right now and we'd love it if the public joined in, creating a chain reaction of positive stories as they tag friends and family. It doesn't have to be a big thing, a simple act of teamwork can lift the spirits and help to heal some of the divisions caused by Brexit."

Co‑op Fortnight is organised by Co‑operatives UK, sponsored by some of the UK's largest co‑operatives and brought to life by co‑ops across the UK.  Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community Engagement of the UKs largest co-op, The Co-op said:- "We're supporting Co-op Fortnight because co-operation really is a better way of doing business. It's what we do every day, working together with our members and customers to make a real difference to the thousands of communities in which we buy and trade. We'll be joining in by encouraging our members to get involved in the many events that are being organised up and down the country."

Local NHS Trust Celebrated for Patient Safety Initiative

A pioneering new initiative enhancing communication and collaboration with Community Pharmacies across Cheshire and Wirral, led by local NHS Trust CWP, has been nominated in 5 separate categories at the National Health Service Journal (HSJ) Patient Safety Awards. The project, in which Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's (CWP) Pharmacy Team has adopted a unique system to inform local Community Pharmacies if extra care or counselling is required for prescribed medicines such as some antipsychotics or antidepressants, has been shortlisted in the following categories at the prestigious national awards:-

Best emerging solution for patient safety.

Best partnership solution improving patient safety.

Improving safety in medicines management initiative.

Mental Health Initiative of the Year.

Quality Improvement of the Year.

Recognising the possible risks to some patients when they didn't take their medication as prescribed, the team applied a new communication system providing Community Pharmacies with critical information about what their patients have been prescribed. The system has helped extend the support that Community Pharmacists can provide; giving them the best chance to provide safe and effective care.

Jasmeen Islam, Deputy Chief Pharmacist at CWP, said:- "Through collaboration with Community Pharmacy Teams we have been able to enhance patient care through better information sharing and integrated working, in line with the NHS 10 Year Plan. We are delighted to be finalists in these categories, and I'd like to thank the Community Pharmacies for their valuable input and continued support."

Sheena Cumiskey, Chief Executive at CWP, said:- "This is a fantastic example of local experts working together to mitigate risk and better meet the needs of our population. The fact it has been recognised in so many categories highlights just how effective it has been across our communities. Congratulations to all involved."

Over a billion prescription items are dispensed in the community each year nationally, and community pharmacies provide essential checks to safely provide medicines and support patients to use and understand their medicines and adopt healthier lifestyles.

Jane Devenish from Well Pharmacy said:- "The information provided is secure, yet easily accessible to the team and helps us to identify potentially harmful medicine interactions or side effects when dispensing prescriptions or advising about minor health conditions. Linking the Community Pharmacy and Mental Health Services in this way has improved the safety of the service that we can give to our patients, and we're delighted that it has been recognised by so many award nominations."

The HSJ Patient Safety Awards take place at a ceremony, in Manchester, on 2 July 2019.

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