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Helping you deliver patient-centred care with the latest news and essential information about key products and developments in store.

Pharmacy School

In this month's interview, we quiz Joanne Green, Assistant Manager at Boots in Chester, about all things Pharmacy School and how she and her store are using it to help them stay on top of their training. She also shares her tips on how to make sure every colleague is completing their monthly Knowledge Check. Click on the interview to find out more.

Time to talk

Time to Talk Day falls on 4 February this year and aims to get the nation talking about mental health. Having conversations about mental health can help educate people and reduce the stigma around mental health conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for open conversations about mental health even more, and this is a good opportunity to start talking. To find out more about Time to Talk Day, visit


Click the boxes below for product updates and news.

Salonpas Pain Relief Patch (GSL)
Methyl salicylate; levomenthol

Item code: 78-73-360

An anti-inflammatory patch for pain relief of muscle and joints associated with strains, sprains, backache and bruises.

Salonpas Pain Relief Patch:

  • Delivers the active ingredients directly to the site of pain with less systemic exposure
  • Works for up to 12 hours
  • Stretchable and flexible
  • Can be used on and around joints
  • Easy to apply.

This product is suitable for adults aged 18 years and over. For usage and directions, read the product pack and leaflet. Customers should be advised to use no more than two plasters in 24 hours. The patches should not be used for more than three days in a row.

See below for product information.

PaediaSure Shake

Item codes and prices: See

A nutritional supplement drink for children aged 1-10 years who are going through a fussy eating phase or recovering after feeling under the weather.

PaediaSure Shake contains protein, omega 3 and 6 plus 26 vitamins and minerals to support growth and development:§

  • Vitamin D contributes to the normal function of the immune system in children
  • Essential fatty acids to support growth and development§
  • Protein is needed for normal growth and the development of bone in children
  • Iron contributes to normal cognitive development.

Available in vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavours. For directions for use, see product pack.

Customers can save 50% on PaediaSure Shake ready to drink bottles when they buy selected Boots brand children's pain relief on*

Date of preparation: December 2020. UK-PDSHK-2000050V2

Boots Immune Defence
Black Elderberry Liquid

Item code: 85-79-032

Specially formulated to provide extra defence with vitamins and minerals to support the immune system and energy levels:**

  • Selenium, zinc and vitamins D3 and C contribute to the normal function of the immune system
  • Copper also maintains the body's energy levels
  • Vitamins C and B6 contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue
  • Suitable for vegans.

Directions for use: Shake well before use and use the measuring cap provided.
Children aged three years and over: Take 5ml once per day.
Adults and children over 12 years: Take 10ml once per day.
Not suitable for children under three years. For full directions, see product pack.

Boots Iron + Vitamin
Liquid Formula

Item code: 85-79-024

Specially formulated to be gentle on the digestive tract, fast acting and easily absorbed by the body:**

  • Contains a chemically organic form of iron from ferrous gluconate, plus vitamins B2, B6, B12 and C to help maintain energy levels, as well as helping to reduce tiredness and fatigue
  • Vitamin C helps to increase the absorption of iron and supports the immune system
  • Contains delicious fruit extracts to create a more pleasant taste, with no artificial flavours or colours.

See product packaging for directions for use.

*Offer ends 23/02/2021. Subject to availability.

+ In stores: save £1.50 on powder and ready to drink. On save £1.50 on powder only.

PaediaSure Shake is a food supplement. It may be used while working towards a healthy balanced diet.

§ The beneficial effect of essential fatty acids is obtained with a daily intake of 10g linoleic acid and 2g alpha-linolenic acid.

** Food supplements are intended to supplement the diet and should not replace a balanced diet or healthy lifestyle.


Salonpas Pain Relief Patch contains Methyl Salicylate; Levomenthol. Indications: For the symptomatic relief of pain of muscles and joints associated with strains and sprains. Legal category: GSL. Information about this product, including adverse reactions, precautions, contraindications and method of use can be found at Marketing authorisation number: PL 23168/0001. Further information is available from Licence Holder: Hisamitsu UK Limited, 5 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1LG, UK. Last revised: February 2020.


Getting a chickenpox vaccination can help to prevent customers from contracting the infection.*

Chickenpox is most common in children under 10 years, but it can be caught at any age. Alongside the uncomfortable symptoms, chickenpox can also have other negative effects - children lose, on average, four to five days of school and parents may lose income.

Most customers for the Chickenpox Vaccination Service are children, but it can be administered to eligible individuals between one and 65 years of age. Some customers may choose to have only their child vaccinated or to also be vaccinated themselves to reduce their risk of contracting the infection.

Provided in over 300 stores, the Chickenpox Vaccination Service can help offer protection against the chickenpox virus. The vaccination is a two-dose course and costs £75 per individual dose or £140 for the full course. Customers can book appointments online or in store for this service.

Only 33 per cent of customers are aware that they are able to access the chickenpox vaccination at Boots, which highlights the importance of driving awareness of the service. If your store offers this service, you should ensure that your chickenpox service promotional materials are displayed where possible.

Your store can request to provide the service if you think it would be appropriate. A face-to-face training day is required.

Visit for more information or to check which stores near you provide this service.

* Subject to store opening times, stock, pharmacist availability and patient eligibility.

Key facts:

  • Suitable for customers aged between one and 65 years old*
  • Currently provided in over 300 stores
  • The vaccination is a two-dose course
  • It costs £75 per individual dose or £140 for the full course.

Supporting customers with their prescriptions

We are launching a new marketing campaign this spring to talk to customers about how we can help them with their medicines.

The campaign will focus on reaching customers that currently buy from our healthcare counters but choose to take their prescription elsewhere, as well as supporting existing customers by offering them in-store prescription services.

Topics we will be talking to customers about include:

  • Electronic Prescription Service - gives customers the flexibility to choose and change the pharmacy their prescription is dispensed at based on what is convenient for them. This is particularly important due to COVID-19 and the changing situation. EPS is available in England only, but a nominated pharmacy is still important elsewhere in the UK. This is when a patient has requested their surgery to send all repeat prescriptions to a certain pharmacy on an ongoing basis
  • Text Message Service - we can offer every customer the option to receive Ready to Collect texts when their prescription is ready. This means customers don't have to make wasted trips or phone calls to see if their prescription is ready
  • Delivery - we can offer this service to all customers. Some customers will pay for this and some will receive free deliveries (the same groups from the pandemic delivery service - see BootsLive for more guidance on this).

As a result of the marketing, you are likely to have more customers enquiring about services in the pharmacy over the next couple of months. It's important that you are up to date with your text messages, on top of your Columbus dashboard and ready to take on new customers.

If you want to refresh your knowledge on any of these topics, there is a range of Leading For... Guides available on Pharmacy Unscripted and BootsLive to support you.


The New Medicine Service (NMS) is a free NHS service in England that can help customers to get the most out of their newly-prescribed medicines through consultations with the pharmacist.

In England, around 15 million people have a long-term health condition - that's over a quarter of the population.1 NMS provides an opportunity to support customers with long-term conditions who are getting to grips with certain new medicines. Many people may not have heard of the service, so you can help by identifying suitable customers and making them aware of the benefits.

Who is suitable for the service?
Customers who have been prescribed a new medicine to treat:

  • Asthma
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Conditions which need blood-thinning medicines.

Benefits of NMS:
NMS increases customer engagement with their condition and medicines, including medication adherence. Increased medication adherence leads to:

  • Better health outcomes for customers
  • Less wasted medication
  • Reduced cost to the NHS.

This service is only available in England. If your store is elsewhere in the UK, the pharmacist will still be able to answer questions and offer advice about newly prescribed medicines.

1. Last accessed January 2021.


Supporting learning

Joanne Green, Assistant Manager at Boots in Chester, filled us in on how her team utilises Pharmacy School, the complete online learning platform, to help them in their roles.

How is your store utilising Pharmacy School?
We have a large team with about 25 staff in total and out of the pharmacy team, everybody is signed up to Pharmacy School. When the first one of us sees the new Tutor modules go on for the month, we put a message out to the rest of the team to let them know.

Some of the trainees like to do their modules and Knowledge Check in store. If you can picture a care services room, there's always lots of colleagues around. So, if they're struggling a little bit, they've got experienced pharmacy advisors and registered technicians there that can help them. Giving trainees that support really helps them to get the most out of it. Colleagues also get instant feedback when they complete their Knowledge Check on Pharmacy School; it tells them which Tutor modules to go back and work on, which is really helpful.

How does Pharmacy School help you and your team in your roles?
The world is constantly changing and so are the rules and regulations. For those of the team that are on the counter, they need to be up to date to help them advise customers. But it's also important for those of us who aren't on the counter every day.

As an assistant manager, I don't always get on the counter for a full day anymore. The care services team also don't always get down onto the counter. So doing our monthly Tutor modules gets us up to speed with the products and gives us the latest information.

We've kept ourselves on track by supporting each other and helping each other through it

How do you encourage your team to complete their monthly Knowledge Check?
Our general manager, Amanda, can actually track who's done their training and completed their Knowledge Check each month. We give the reminder out, and I give little prompts throughout the month to say, 'Where are we up to? Who's done it and who hasn't?'. I've also done a visual checklist now, so the team can just sign when they've done their Knowledge Check for the month. It's been a busy time, but we've kept ourselves on track by supporting each other and helping each other through it.

If a colleague hasn't done their monthly training yet, I ask them if there's anything that they need support with - especially if they're a trainee. Do they need me to get a trained colleague to support them through it? It may even be somebody who's not that confident with the computer itself, so it's just about finding out what they need. For those individuals, they'll always have a trained colleague with them or somebody who's computer savvy to support them.