Pharmacies join cancer initiative

LAUNCH: The Wise Up To Cancer programme launch in Castleford. Picture Jonathan Pow/
LAUNCH: The Wise Up To Cancer programme launch in Castleford. Picture Jonathan Pow/

Yorkshire Cancer Research has expanded its new community health programme into the Wakefield district.

The ‘Wise Up To Cancer’ programme, funded by a £160,000 investment by the charity and developed in partnership with Leeds Beckett University, is aimed at improving cancer outcomes in the region.

The initiative was spearheaded by the late Nigel Hughes, who was head of public health and engagement at Community Pharmacy West Yorkshire. The 53-year-old passed away from a heart attack on January 5. His wife Ruth attended the official launch of the project in his memory.

There are an estimated 12,540 people in Wakefield CCG living with or beyond cancer, with 38 people being diagnosed every week.

The programme is being run at ten pharmacies in the district. These include Cohens Chemist, Station Lane, Featherstone; Whitworth Pharmacy, Wakefield Road, Kinsley; Lloyds pharmacies at Carlton Street, Castleford, Park Dale, Castleford, Wrangbrook Road, Upton, Stockingate, South Kirby; Rowlands pharmacies in High Street, Ferrybridge and Barnsley Road, South Elmsall.

Lisa Trickett, of Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “While we have made significant improvements in survival rates, the number of people in Yorkshire living with and beyond cancer is set to almost double by 2030. This means that it is now vital that we invest in projects aimed at preventing cancer and making sure that those who do get cancer are diagnosed at the earliest possible stage.”

The pharmacies will offer ‘Wise Up To Cancer’ health checks and information as part of the awareness-raising programme.