The ‘Welsh in the Pharmacy Pack’ was launched at Morrisons in Bangor earlier this month, as the result of a joint pilot project between Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Hunaniaith and Menter Iaith Bangor.
The project encourages Pharmacy staff in Gwynedd to use their Welsh to benefit members of the public who use their services.
Staff are now being encouraged to use the Welsh language and to make the language more visible within the pharmacy for the benefit of Welsh speaking patients who live in the county.
Sioned Roberts, a translator for the Welsh Language Services at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “Although the Health Board serves all North Wales’ counties, it is more appropriate for us to launch and distribute these packs in Gwynedd, a county which has the highest percentage of Welsh speakers.
“These packs will be a practical tool to implement our active offer, which provides the option to give a service in Welsh without a member of the public having to ask for it, which is in an integral part of the Welsh Government’s More than just Words Framework, for Welsh language services in health, social services and social care.”
The packs will facilitate pharmacists and pharmacy staff to develop a Welsh language face-to-face service for the public.
They include a variety of resources including Using your Welsh at the Pharmacy cards (featuring useful phrases for pharmacy staff), Iaith Gwaith lanyards, badges and posters and bilingual ‘How to answer the phone’ cards to enable staff to answer the phone with a bilingual greeting.
“By displaying the posters it informs and reminds the public that they are welcome to speak Welsh.
“In addition to strengthening the Welsh language skills of the pharmacy staff these packs will also be of benefit to members of the public who use the services and help boost their confidence to use the language,” added Sioned.
Dr Peter Higson, Chairman of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “The Welsh in the Pharmacy Pack will most definitely make it easier to implement the active offer, which is an important element of providing language appropriate care.
“It is important that our patients who use our services in the pharmacy have the very best care.”
Gareth Roberts, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Well-being, said he welcomed the collaboration that has taken place in producing the packs to benefit the Welsh language.
He said: “We are seeing an increasing role of pharmacy services among patients on long-term medication so delivering a service in the patient’s language is a matter of basic need.”
Menna Baines, Chair of Menter Iaith Bangor,said: “It was great to see the willingness of the head Pharmacist at Morrisons Bangor, Cameron Kinnell, to collaborate with the enterprise to promote the Welsh language at the supermarket.
“It is great to see a big company such as Morrisons taking customer care for Welsh speakers seriously, and I very much hope that other independent supermarkets and pharmacies will see the value in using the pack.”
Head Pharmacist at Morrisons, Cameron Kinnell added: “It’s been an honour and privilege on my own behalf and on behalf of Morrisons Pharmacy to have been part of this project from the beginning.
“The help and support we’ve received from the Health Board, Hunaniaith and Menter Iaith Bangor has been invaluable and we look forward to continuing to progress and provide the best care to our patients through the medium of the Welsh language.”
Plans are now in place to introduce the packs, which are free of charge, to all pharmacies within the Health Board’s area.
BCUHB Chief Pharmacist, Berwyn Thomas, BCUHB translator Sioned Roberts, Gareth Roberts, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Well-being, Head of Welsh Language Services Eleri Hughes-Jones and BCUHB Chairman Peter Higson.
Main Photo (Above): Translator for BCUHB Sioned Roberts and Head of Welsh Language Services at BCUHB Eleri Hughes-Jones celebrating the launch of the pharmacy packs in Morrisons Bangor.