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Building Community Pharmacy Partnership (BCPP)

Community Development and Health Network (CDHN)
Date of Project: 
Geography of Project: 
OASIS - Caring in Action, East Belfast
mental health, partnership, pharmacy, community, women
Aim, Background, What Happened: 

The Building Community Pharmacy Partnership (BCPP) works to establish stronger partnerships between local communities and community pharmacists and address local health needs using a community development approach.

Context of Community or Target Group: 

Oasis Caring in Action is a community organisation which works to 'Transform Lives, Transform Communities' through the provision of childcare, training, and befriending services. Based within the heart of Inner East Belfast, and now with branches in West Belfast, Antrim and Coleraine.  Oasis’ desire is to see people empowered within their personal, family and community lives; through support, training and resources.

Oasis provides a range of community programmes for local people, and exists as a practical demonstration of God's love within our community.

Influences on Case Study: 

DHSSPS: Making It Better through Pharmacy in the Community

Transforming Your Care

Policy and Other Problems: 

Not specified in case study.

Prior Experience with Health Literacy Across Sectors: 

The programme delivered in partnership with community and statutory sector. A criterion for funding is to demonstrate partnership working, showing evidence of interagency and multi-disciplinary skills in working across a range of statutory agencies and across health and social service.

Co-Facilitators on this project were Aware Defeat Depression, East Belfast Community Counselling Service, EBIAC, and Imago Mental Health Befriending Project. A community development approach to health was used to design and deliver the programme.

The Community Development Health Network has extensive experience of a community development approach and knowledge of the social model of health.

Concept of Health and Health Literacy: 

Health literacy not specifically mentioned however the programme addresses the needs of women in the local community to help improve quality of life by focusing on mental health, personal development.  The pharmacist involved in the project linked in with a range of services available in the community. The programme supported positive health literacy outcomes without explicitly mentioning health literacy.

Mandate of Project: 

BCPP, CDHN is linked to / priority of / action of / DHSSPS: Making It Better through Pharmacy in the Community.

Oasis’ Caring in Action BCP project focused on improving mental health with women over an eight week period, to explore mental health with the local pharmacist and a range of other local providers including Aware Defeat Depression, CAB, Women’s Aid and fitness instructors.

Formal Processes: 

On receipt of applications, CDHN undertakes an initial screening process to ensure completeness, after which the application is then passed onto the Assessment Panel or referred back to the applicant for further information.  The Programme Manager then prepares a summary of the applications for the members of the assessment panel which is made up of members of the BCPP steering group.  Representatives from community sectors organisations, pharmacists who have been involved in delivering a BCPP programme and representatives from Health and Social Care Board.

Each member of the Assessment Panel is assigned a number of application forms to assess. Whilst the members of the Assessment Panel assess those applications assigned to them, the summary of applications provides a valuable overview of all the applications which have been submitted.  The Assessment Panel review Level 2 and Level 3 applications over one day.  The CDHN Officers provide support to the applicants by phone or in some instances on a one to one basis throughout the process.  Support includes helping potential applicants identify suitable partners, identifying local needs, developing appropriate approaches to addressing needs and completing the application process.

After the Assessment Panel meeting, a Letter of Offer is issued to the successful applicants. Unsuccessful applicants are notified and are offered a debriefing session.

The Monitoring Officer visits the applicant organisation to discuss the financial monitoring aspects of the project.  The Programme Manager will also visit the projects to support them in issues relating to partnership working, using a community development approach, troubleshooting, networking, developing future opportunities and programme and budget changes.

Availability of Resources: 

The programme took place over 9 months and involved interactive information sessions, 1-1’s and a celebration event.  Pre and post programme evaluations capture capacity building during the period of the programme.

The BCPP is an ongoing programme and groups can apply for Level 1 (£2,000), Level 2 (£10,000 x 2 years) and Level 3 (£10,000 x 3 years) funding.

Capacity-Building Activities: 

At the end of the programme group members reported feeling more confident about going to the Pharmacist for help and have a greater understanding of the relationship between how they live their life and the impact on their health.  All group members reported making positive changes to the way they lives following participation in the programme. The outcome report highlights that confidence of participants increased over the course of the programme and they were able to identify and share experience of existing health concerns.

The programme is delivered in an interactive way. The Pharmacist reported that spending 1-1 time with the women and developing meaningful relationships gave her an understanding of "the stumbling blocks that can impede people from making meaningful changes to their lifestyle which can help them make real changes to their health outcomes."  Furthermore, she found that Integrated Care Partnerships allowed her to see how social prescribing can produce health outcomes that medicines alone can't always produce.

Social Mechanisms: 

Oasis - Caring in Action. Targeting a total of 45 women and focusing on improving mental health, this programme delivered 3x8 week courses. The pharmacist was able to link with a range of other providers, helping to build on the network available to Oasis.  Some of these were Aware Defeat Depression, CAB, Women's Aid and Fitness Instructors. 

A celebration event was held with the pharmacist and the women to share the learning and explore ways in which their ongoing development could be supported beyond the project.


Project was designed in partnership with the group to address their needs. It was delivered in their local area by a local pharmacist.  The relationship with the pharmacist was key and their availability to consult outside of the programme time.

Oasis, Belfast worked with two core groups to target local women develop a better understanding of the importance of having a healthy mind through personal development.  Working in partnership with the Pharmacy they provided a joined up approach to improving physical health.

Poor mental health presented throughout the course of the programme, resulting in a continuing need to deliver positive mental health messages and coping strategies.  The response from participants was encouraging as information gained at sessions and could be seen each week.  The physical act of attending the sessions addressed the issue of social isolation while forming friendships.  The importance of physical activity and its impact on mental health is high on the agenda in East Belfast which has led Oasis to link into this initiative.


The funding available through BCPP and flexibility to work in an interactive way at a venue familiar to participants, made the programme feasible and addressed a highlighted issue.


Programme can be sustained for a number of years through Level 2 and 3 funding of BCPP.

The pharmacy has reported an increase in participants routinely calling in to ask for advice. This may impact the number of people who previously would have sought advice from their GP only. The participants now have a greater awareness of services in the area where they can seek help i.e. the pharmacy and other local support organisations/agencies. 

The celebration event held with the pharmacist and the women at the end of the project shared learning and explored ways in which their ongoing development could be supported beyond the project.

Other Comments / Information: 

The BCPP funding process is very support intensive.  The CDHN staff offer extensive support in both the application process and throughout the life of the projects.  This support is offered in a variety of ways such as visits, telephone and email.

The importance of this support was highlighted by groups in both the questionnaire returns analysed and in the case studies. The support offered by CDHN throughout the life of the BCPP projects is believed to be essential to the success of the projects.

Headline Message(s): 

Connected communities are healthy communities.


CDHN provides initial Financial and Monitoring training, as well as evaluation training for the successful applicants. Projects provide quarterly monitoring returns to CDHN for Level 2 projects and a six monthly return for Level 1 and level 3 projects.

CDHN implements a system of 100% vouching of expense claims.  Whilst this is the most effective method of ensuring that all expenses claims are valid, it is highly labour intensive both on the part of CDHN staff and the project staff. 

Building Community Pharmacy Project Evaluation Report