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Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

General News

HLP evaluation adds to evidence for developed pharmacy role

Further evidence of the difference that community pharmacies can make in improving the health and wellbeing of local communities has been published today as part of an evaluation of the Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) scheme.

The evaluation looked at service data and patient and pharmacy surveys from community pharmacies in 14 of the 20 pathfinder areas across England. It considered a range of services including stop smoking services, emergency hormonal contraception, minor ailments, alcohol awareness, MURs, the New Medicine Service and substance misuse services.

The evaluation showed that the HLP concept was consistent with increased service delivery and improved quality measures and outcomes, and that the benefits of the scheme were not dependent on levels of local health need and deprivation. More people successfully quit smoking in HLPs than did so in non-HLP pharmacies, and HLP pharmacies had higher MUR and NMS activity levels.

Feedback from people visiting HLPs was positive, with most saying they were comfortable receiving the services in a pharmacy and 98% saying they would recommend the service to others. Of the 1,034 people surveyed about their experiences in an HLP, 21% said if they hadn’t accessed the support at the HLP they would not have done anything, while 61% said they would have gone to their GP instead.

Pharmacies were also positive about the scheme, with 70 per cent of the contractors surveyed saying it had been worthwhile for their business.

Barbara Parsons, PSNC Head of Pharmacy Practice, said:

“These latest results from the Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) scheme are certainly encouraging and they show just how hard community pharmacy contractors and their staff have been working to improve the health of their communities.

HLPs and other pharmacies across England are really starting to demonstrate just how much of a difference community pharmacies can make to the health and wellbeing of their local populations, and we hope the Government will continue to support them to do this in the reformed NHS.”

The Healthy Living Pharmacy Pathfinder programme was launched after pharmacy minister Earl Howe visited an HLP in December 2010 and asked whether the results seen could be replicated elsewhere in the country.

The programme’s support group includes representatives from the CCA, the NPA, PSNC, the RPS, CPPE and the Department of Health.

Read the full HLP evaluation here.

Posted 22 April 2013

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