Pharmacists can show their support for the NHS by stocking a skincare cream that pours profits back into the health system.
The Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust developed My Trusty sunflower cream in the 1980s after the moisturiser used on the burns unit failed to soothe patients’ painful and itchy skin.
The original cream, and the later developed face and body oil and body butter, are the only NHS-supported products in the UK.
UK business development and sales manager, Linda Mace, said the company are trying to raise £1m through sales to help the NHS.
“All the profits from this go back into patient care so it is a choice to help the NHS.
“I am waving the flag and saying to pharmacists if you are going to offer a solution for skin there should be an NHS brand at the same time,” she said.
Prior to the development of My Trusty sunflower cream, patients on the Tissue Support Clinic in the Plastic Surgery and Burns Unit of Salisbury District Hospital were treated with an emulsifying wax.
The wax dragged the skin on application, adding to patients’ discomfort.
Mace said: “The cream that was being used wasn’t suitable or appropriate and there was nothing else available.
“So we developed our own to meet the need.”
Skin research scientists found that a lack of linoleic acid, which cannot be produced by the body but is found in sunflower oil, can contribute to poor quality skin.
The oil provides nutrients to support the stratum granulosum layer, found under the surface of the skin, that helps prevent water evaporation and the resulting dry skin.
Mace believes every pharmacy should stock an NHS product on their shelves.
“This is the first NHS product in the UK, it is the only NHS supported product in the UK.
“We want it to be more available across the UK, in all the pharmacies, so the public can directly support the NHS.”
The sunflower cream bagged the Best Skincare award at the Pharmacy Show in 2015 and is approved for use on babies from eight weeks old.
It is also suitable for treating conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, seborrhoeic dermatitis and thinning skin.