The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published draft guidance on how community pharmacy can promote health and wellbeing among their local population.
It looks at how community pharmacists can expand their health promotion role within existing health and care pathways as well as other activities that can be carried out to encourage more people to use pharmacy services.
The committee that drew up the guidance also made a number of “high priority” recommendations for research in this area.
Among the studies it would like to see are investigations into whether a referral from a community pharmacy is more effective than signposting alone in improving access to, and uptake of, health services; how interventions delivered by community pharmacy teams to improve health and behavioural outcomes compare with usual care; and how the characteristics of pharmacy staff affect the effectiveness of these interventions.
The guidance is now out for consultation; responses must be submitted by 21 February 2018. The final guidance is expected to be published in August 2018.
Source: Courtesy: The Pharmaceutical Journal
Royal Pharmaceutical Society director for England, Robbie Turner, said: “It’s good news that NICE are looking at this and the consultation will help drive the recognition that community pharmacies are a key player in promoting health and wellbeing in their local population.
“Our members report that local authorities are actually decommissioning public health services, so we hope that the resulting guidance develops into greater support from commissioners. The NHS cannot afford the false economy of cutting effective public health strategies.
“Community pharmacy teams can make a real impact in reducing health inequalities, as the Healthy Living Pharmacy programme amply demonstrates.”