Pathfinder support group exceed 100th Healthy Living Pharmacy target

Published on Thursday, 12 April 2012 11:29
Posted by Scott Buckler

Pharmacy organisations, Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) Pathfinder areas and Pharmacies are celebrating exceeding the target set last year to have 100 HLPs accredited in England by the end of March 2012

The milestone was achieved following the selection in September last year of 20 pathfinder areas, covering 30 PCTs and supported by the Pathfinder Support Group, made up of the Company Chemists' Association, Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education, Department of Health, National Pharmacy Association, Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

There are now 163 quality-marked HLPs across 15 HLP Primary Care Trust areas, with a number of additional areas outside the pathfinders also realising the benefits and pressing forward with the concept (191 HLPs when including two non-pathfinder areas). Many more HLPs are expected to receive their quality mark in coming weeks. In addition to having almost 200 HLPs, at least 400 individuals have undertaken leadership training to support the change required to implement HLP and around 600 pharmacy team members have become Health Champions (also known as Healthy Living Champions).

All HLP sites provide high quality NHS services which aim to reduce health inequalities and address local public health challenges. People visiting an HLP will receive health and wellbeing advice from informed members of the pharmacy team and either access or be signposted to NHS services such as stop smoking, emergency contraception, weight management, harm reduction, NHS health checks, advice on alcohol and medicines use reviews. To do this, pharmacy staff receive training accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health to skill them up as Health Champions so they can work with the public in this way.

Pam MacPherson from Rowlands, Kingston Crescent in Portsmouth, one of the very first HLPs said: “We are delighted to see how the HLP concept has grown across the country and I’m sure all HLPs will see the many benefits we have, particularly the positive reaction of our customers to what we do and how we have all developed as a team.”

Health Minister Lord Howe, said: "Healthy Living Pharmacies are a great way for people to get fast and convenient access to different NHS services in one place on their doorstep. Over 100 Healthy Living Pharmacies is a tremendous achievement, and I would like to congratulate all those involved in the Healthy Living Pharmacy pathfinder programme."

Professor Richard Parish, Chair of Pharmacy and Public Health Forum (PPHF) said: “The HLP model is a vision turned into reality. The fact that the pharmacy organisations together with the pathfinder areas exceeded their target of 100 HLPs by the end of March 2012 shows that there is considerable enthusiasm to move this forward by pharmacy teams across the country.”

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, Chair of the HLP workstream within PPHF said: “Passing the 100th Healthy Living Pharmacy is a great achievement but we now need to take the significant success forward onto the HLP workstream of the Pharmacy and Public Health Forum to support on-going roll-out. The next step is to see HLPs recognised and rewarded by commissioners.When you think of where the project started in Portsmouth, to where it is at now across the country, there is no stopping HLPs!”

Deborah Evans, Project Lead for the Healthy Living Pharmacy Pathfinder sites said: “We’re delighted to have met this important milestone of over 100 HLPs and would like to commend all pathfinder sites and pharmacy teams for helping us all meet our ambitious target. Pharmacy bodies have supported the project throughout and will continue to support the project when it moves into the Pharmacy and Public Health Forum’s workstream at the end of March 2012.”
The PCT pathfinder sites have been supported by the Pathfinder Support Group and their Local Pharmaceutical Committees throughout implementation. Pathfinders with quality marked HLPs (at the time of going to press) include:

Shropshire and Telford, Heart of Birmingham, North Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent, South Staffordshire, East Lancashire,Blackburn with Darwen, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight, Dudley, Gateshead, South Tyneside and
Sunderland, Ashton, Leigh and Wigan, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, Lambeth, South West
and South East Essex, Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire and Dorset. Non-pathfinder areas include
Southampton and Leeds, Bradford & Airedale, Calderdale & Kirklees.

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