LPC News: Study shows variation in LA commissioning of public health services

LPC News: Study shows variation in LA commissioning of public health services

July 21, 2017

BMJ Open has published the results of a study which evaluated variation in local authority (LA) commissioning of community pharmacy public health services in England in 2014/15.

Information for the study was gathered via freedom of information requests to LA commissioners, as well as using data from the PSNC Services Database and PharmOutcomes.

A total of 833 commissioned services were reported across England (range of 3–10 services per LA). Four services were commissioned by over 90% of LAs; these were:

  • emergency hormonal contraception (EHC);
  • smoking cessation support;
  • supervised consumption of methadone or other opiates; and
  • needle and syringe programmes (NSPs).

The study also gathered information, where available, on the frequency of use of services.

Supervised consumption and NSPs were the most frequently used services, with over 4.4 million individual supervisions and over 1.4 million needle packs supplied. Community pharmacies provided over 200,000 consultations for supply of EHC, over 30,000 supplies of free condoms and almost 16,000 chlamydia screening kits. More than 55,000 people registered to stop smoking in a community pharmacy, almost 30,000 were screened for alcohol use and over 26,000 NHS Health Checks were delivered.

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