Haven Pharmacy group achieves health literacy quality mark for all branches

We are proud to announce that Haven Pharmacy group is the first group to have all 49 branches receive the Crystal Clear health literacy quality mark!

Pictured are Clare McNally, NALA, Daragh Connolly, Haven Pharmacies. Picture by Shane O’Neill, Coalesce.

This mark recognises the critical role pharmacies play in helping people understand their health issues and the steps they need to take to improve their health. The mark is awarded to pharmacies where there is evidence of, and commitment to, providing a literacy friendly service.

A new International Health Literacy Survey, due to be published by the Department of Health in October, shows that 28% of the Irish population have ‘limited’ health literacy and in particular struggle with finding and evaluating information. Delivering a literacy friendly service in pharmacies is important for this 28% so that literacy and numeracy needs of customers are considered and communication is clear and sensitive.

Colleen Dube, Chief Executive Officer, NALA commented: “We are delighted to present Haven Pharmacy with an award for being the first pharmacy group to have all their pharmacies achieve the Crystal Clear mark. This award celebrates the 49 Haven pharmacies all over Ireland who are engaging with customers in a literacy friendly way. This benefits customers’ understanding of health information and their taking their medication correctly.”

Daragh Connolly, Chairperson of Haven Pharmacy and pharmacist in Dungarvan said: “We are delighted that Haven is the first pharmacy group to have all their pharmacies awarded the Crystal Clear mark. Our pharmacies have found great benefits from applying for the mark, in particular how staff are now more aware of literacy needs and how to respond sensitively to customers. We can be more responsive and inclusive to the communities we serve every day. Staff are using plain English, avoiding jargon and confusing terms and going over medication and dosage to ensure customer is clear.”

A local Haven Pharmacist said: “Slowing down and taking time to talk to customers to check their understanding, led to less telephone queries afterwards.”

Mairead McCaul, Managing Director, MSD Ireland (Human Health) added: “We congratulate all Haven pharmacies for achieving the Crystal Clear mark as they demonstrate best practice in providing a health literacy friendly service to the public. We are delighted to continue to support the programme as additional pharmacies take the necessary steps to improve the patient communication, experience and understanding.”

The Crystal Clear Pharmacy Programme, Ireland’s first health literacy quality mark for pharmacies, was launched in 2015 by NALA, the Irish Pharmacy Union and MSD and supported by Healthy Ireland. To date 105 pharmacies in 19 counties have been awarded the mark. Pharmacies who wish to participate in the Crystal Clear Programme can complete the online audit here www.nala.ie/health-literacy/crystal-clear-mark/.