Government prevention paper promotes more services through pharmacy

Government prevention paper promotes more services through pharmacy

July 25, 2019

The government has published a consultation paper on prevention, ‘Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s’, which outlines policy ideas to help prevent and detect ill-health at an earlier stage.

The paper proposes a series of measures to help tackle future health needs, including:

  • An aim to eradicate smoking in England by 2030, and all smokers admitted to hospital will be offered support to stop smoking;
  • Further action on childhood obesity, including banning the sale of energy drinks to under-16s;
  • Reviewing the NHS Health Check programme to find ways of increasing uptake;
  • Embedding genomics in routine healthcare to transform early detection of many common cancers and diseases; and
  • Emphasising the importance of immunisations to increase uptake across all communities and areas.

The paper also highlights the opportunity for community pharmacy to deliver a wider range of prevention services through the five-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) which was announced earlier this week (Monday 22 July), and stated:

‘Government has now set out a Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework that, from October 2019, will redefine the integral role community pharmacies play in delivering healthcare services over the next five years. This will see pharmacy staff trained to provide a wider range of health advice and support, including helping to identify and refer 48 patients with unidentified heart conditions, such as heart disease. Over the course of the settlement period all pharmacies will become Healthy Living Pharmacies which will require them to have trained health champions on site. These health champions will proactively deliver a wide range of lifestyle and health interventions to help more people live happier, healthier lives for longer.’

The paper is open to consultation in the form of an online survey, which is available here. It includes a question about community pharmacy, where it encourages respondents to offer examples for services or advice that could be delivered by community pharmacies to promote health. This could help inform future policy, so contractors and LPCs are welcome to put forward any case studies or examples of best practice for consideration. The deadline for consultation responses is 14 October 2019.

Simon Dukes, PSNC Chief Executive, said:

“The Green Paper on Prevention makes several positive references to community pharmacy, rightly identifying the sector as having an important role to play in the future of public health services. The five-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework agreement also announced yesterday has already started to cement that vision, setting out a plan for the development of pharmacy services in this important area. Both of these policy documents set out a future in which pharmacies become healthy living centres, as well as being the first port of call for people with minor illnesses, and providing an increasing range of health screening services. This move towards a more clinical service offer is one that community pharmacies have been ready and willing to embrace now for some time, and it will benefit both patients and the NHS.”

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