Healthy Living Pharmacies

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Healthy Living Pharmacies

The Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) framework is a tiered commissioning framework aimed at achieving consistent delivery of a broad range of high quality services through community pharmacies to meet local need, improving the health and wellbeing of the local population and helping to reduce health inequalities.

The HLP concept provides a framework for commissioning public health services through three levels of increasing complexity and required expertise with pharmacies aspiring to go from one level to the next.

It is also an organisational development framework underpinned by three enablers of:

  • workforce development – a skilled team to pro-actively support and promote behaviour change, improving health and wellbeing;
  • premises that are fit for purpose; and
  • engagement with the local community, other health professionals (especially GPs), social care and public health professionals and local authorities.

Public Health England has published a set of infographics to illustrate the role of HLPs in the health and care system.

Community pharmacies wishing to become HLPs are required to consistently deliver a range of commissioned services based on local need and commit to and promote a healthy living ethos within a dedicated health-promoting environment. 

Please note, more documents to support LPCs and contractors are planned – these will be developed by the HLP Innovator’s group and added to the website as and when they are available.

HLP e-newsletter

Public Health England (PHE) publish a quarterly e-newsletter to provide updates on national HLP development and share innovative practice from across the country.  To sign up to receive future quarterly issues, please email hlpnewsletter@phe.gov.uk.

Further information on HLPs

Information for commissioners

Information for CCGs and General Practices

Information for local authorities

A PowerPoint presentation for LPCs on Healthy Living Pharmacies can be used by LPCs/community pharmacists as the basis for a presentation on the HLP concept to:

  • local patient groups;
  • local government officers and councillors;
  • CCGs;  and
  • other groups that have an interest in community pharmacy.

Gul Root (Pharmaceutical Public Health Adviser in PHE’s Health and Wellbeing Directorate) is the strategic lead for HLP and commissioners can contact her to discuss HLP.

Support and resources to help you on your HLP journey

Action plan template

Making it happen

The Professional Standards for Public Health Practice for Pharmacy provide a framework to help pharmacy teams, commissioners and those contracting services to design, implement, deliver and monitor high quality public health practice through pharmacy.

A number of LPCs who have HLPs up and running in their areas or on their way to having pharmacies accredited as HLPs have advised that they are happy to provide support and advice to other LPCs who are looking to approach commissioners about the HLP concept or to provide guidance on the implementation of HLPs. Their contact details can be found below:

LPC contact details

A number of commissioners/LPCs have created prospectuses to provide further information on HLPs:

Dudley Healthy Living pharmacy prospectus 2015

Hampshire Healthy Living Pharmacy Prospectus 2014

Hampshire Healthy Living Pharmacy (service requirements and quality criteria) 2014

Hertfordshire Healthy Living Pharmacy Prospectus

Lancashire Healthy Living Pharmacy Prospectus 2014

Tees Healthy Living Pharmacy Prospectus 2015/16

West Yorkshire Healthy Living Prospectus Level 1, Wave 3

More resources can also be found on the National Pharmacy Association’s website and on the Healthy Living Pharmacy Network

Evaluation of the HLP pathfinder sites

The evaluation of the HLP pathfinder sites was launched on the 22nd April 2013 and the key findings were:

  • Early results seen in Portsmouth can be replicated in other areas of the country as the benefits of the scheme were shown not to be dependent on levels of local health need and deprivation;
  • The HLP concept was consistent with increased service delivery and improved quality measures and outcomes;
  • 21% of people surveyed wouldn’t have done anything if they hadn’t accessed a service or support in the HLP so would have missed out on the benefit of getting advice to improve their health and wellbeing;
  • 60% of peopled surveyed would have otherwise gone to a GP;
  • Public feedback was positive with 98% saying they would recommend the service to others and 99% were comfortable to receive the service in the pharmacy;
  • More people successfully quit smoking in HLPs than non-HLPs or prior to becoming a HLP;
  • The number of people who accessed sexual health services and were provided with additional sexual health advice was greater than in non-HLPs;
  • The acceptability of community pharmacy as a location for clients to receive an alcohol service and the relatively high levels of activity seen in HLPs compared with non-HLPs showed that HLPs could have an important contribution to this harm reduction service;
  • HLPs were effective at delivering increased support for people taking medicines for long term conditions, through both Medicines Use Reviews and the New Medicine Service. Activity was higher for both services in HLPs than non-HLPs or before HLP implementation in all but one site; and
  • Pharmacies were also positive about the scheme; with 70% of the contractors surveyed saying it had been worthwhile for their business.

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of PHE, highlighted the results from the HLP evaluation in his weekly message on 26th April following the evaluation launch:

‘Pharmacies have a major role to play in helping improve the public’s health, with 1.8 million people visiting a pharmacy each day. On Monday, the evaluation of the Healthy Living Pharmacy Programme was launched at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Led by a collaboration of all the national pharmacy bodies and supported by the Department of Health and the public health organisations, there are now 508 Healthy Living Pharmacies in England. The results are really impressive. The public ‘strongly’ approved of the pharmacies which have signed up, with over 98% saying they would recommend them. Results have been equally encouraging in Stop Smoking services, with the Healthy Living Pharmacies delivering a significant improvement in the number of quits. The public and patients have also been much more positively engaged in other lifestyle areas where advice and support have been given by pharmacy Health Champions accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health’.

HLP evaluation executive summary

HLP evaluation (full document) 

Implementation of level 1 HLPs

The Pharmacy and Public Health Forum developed a new process for the implementation of level 1 HLPs. The intention was to move from a totally commissioner-led HLP accreditation system to a profession-led self-assessment process for level 1 HLPs, based on clear quality criteria and underpinned by a proportionate quality assurance process. PHE has published a letter explaining this in more detail. 

PHE has published the self-assessment guide, which sets out the quaity criteria that pharmacies must achieve to gain HLP level 1 status. Pharmacy teams must be able to provide evidence of the behaviours, activities and physical environment. The quality criteria have been endorsed and ratified by the Pharmacy and Public Health Forum.

Click here to view the self-assessment guide (July 2016)

Other resources


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