Pharmacists offer free flu jabs to the homeless

from left, Pharmacists Michael Ball and Mark Oak with Kimberley Bickerdike, Public health central area team and Pharmacist Michael Ball with the vaccine they will be offering when they visit homeless shelters
from left, Pharmacists Michael Ball and Mark Oak with Kimberley Bickerdike, Public health central area team and Pharmacist Michael Ball with the vaccine they will be offering when they visit homeless shelters
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TWO public-spirited pharmacists are set to take their health care skills to the street to help some of the most vulnerable people in the county.

Mark Oak and Mike Ball from Broadway Pharmacy in Fulwood are set to offer free flu vaccinations to clients of Preston’s homeless shelters this week.

The flu jab programme is a Christmas gesture marking the culmination of a health care project with Lancashire County Council.

Mark said: “We will be offering the vaccinations and our services for free with two colleagues from Lancashire County Council giving up their free time too.

“Christmas is a time of good will and kindness, particularly around the festive period and especially for those who may be unfortunate enough to be without a home at this time.

“They are at high risk of developing flu. It’s something that could prevent hospital admissions. They are outside and cold and experiencing extremes of temperature and they don’t have the best access to health care.”

The team, which includes public health workers Anna Bailey and Kimberley Bickerdike, will be at the Foxton Centre on Knowsley Street tomorrow from 12 noon to 1pm and on Wednesday evening from 5.30pm - 7pm.

Mark added: “We have been working closely with the council over the last few months on a number of health promotions. We decided we would offer our services for free and ourselves and the council would share the cost of vaccines.”

Mark and Mike, a director at the pharmacy, have been involved in a pilot scheme with the council to innoculate front line staff including social workers, those working with vulnerable adults and staff at children’s centres in a bid to protect council clients, prevent the spread of flu and keep staff at work.

Meanwhile the Broadway team have continued their community outreach work back at the pharmacy – holding a special late night opening event with a bumper raffle raising £550 for Rock FM’s Cash For Kids appeal.

Donations of new toys are also being welcomed at the pharmacy for underprivileged children. Customers have been able to get flu vaccinations at Broadway Pharmacy too.