The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence have published a new guideline on community pharmacy. The guideline covers how community pharmacies can help maintain and improve people’s physical and mental health and well-being, including people with long-term conditions.
It aims to encourage more people to use community pharmacies by integrating them within existing health and care pathways and ensuring they offer standard services and a consistent approach. The authors have said that the guideline requires a collaborative approach from individual pharmacies and their representatives, local authorities and other commissioners.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- Health and wellbeing hub
- Overarching principles of good practice
- Awareness raising and providing information
- Advice and education
- Behavioural support
- Referrals and signposting.
Community pharmacies, local pharmaceutical committees and pharmacy organisations, commissioners of health-promoting interventions including local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and NHS England, local professional networks (hosted by NHS England and health and wellbeing boards. It may also be relevant for private and voluntary sector organisations providing health‑promoting services, people working in related services, for example, GP practices, out-of-hours services and members of the public.
Micheal Holden, a partner in Pharmacy Complete commented;
“It is important that pharmacy owners, pharmacists and pharmacy teams, particularly Health Champions, and local commissioners of both health and wellbeing services understand what the recommendations are and what this means for them. We believe that the guidance is a very good fit with the objectives and ethos of the Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) model which we have supported since its conception. So those pharmacies that are already accredited HLPs and maintained their capability and activity in line with the HLP Criteria will be well placed to meet most or all of these recommendations.
“At Pharmacy Complete we have gone beyond the core HLP criteria with our award-winning Health Champion development programme that we have created for pharmacy teams which include our Knowledge into Action workshop, the RSPH Applied award in Health Improvement and the Supporting Behaviour Change Level 2 award plus Making Every Contact Count (MECC). We have also developed our Health Campaign service which uses only evidence-based, professional materials plus a topic knowledge piece and hints and tips to support the provision of the required minimum of six campaigns a year.
“There will undoubtedly be some work for local public health, NHS and CCG commissioners to do on the integration and publicity recommendations; LPCs and Local Healthwatch should be holding them to account on this.”