Better integration vital to boost pharmacy’s prevention role, say CCA and AIM

The Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) and the Association of Independent Multiples (AIM) have called for the national commissioning of smoking cessation and sexual health services in our response to the green paper on prevention.

October 14th marked the deadline of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)’s consultation, Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s. Our joint response sets out how community pharmacy could support DHSC’s aim to make the 2020s the decade of proactive, predictive, and personalised prevention.

Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the CCA, said: “Community pharmacy is well-placed to empower patients to play an active role in their self-care.

“The sector’s impact is particularly important in areas of high deprivation. Community pharmacies already provide accessible healthcare that supports the reduction of health inequalities by meeting population health needs through tailored support and advice, such as on lifestyle behavioural change, including smoking, poor diet and alcohol misuse.”

However, we recognise that within the green paper, the full potential of community pharmacy is yet to be realised.

“We know that with the right funding, regulations and laws, pharmacies can become far better integrated into the health system and improve patient care and health outcomes.”

In our response, we call for:

  • A national smoking cessation service commissioned through community pharmacy
  • A single national service specification for Emergency Hormonal Contraception
  • Pharmacist independent prescribers’ skills being used to prescribe oral contraceptives in the community, and
  • Community pharmacies to be commissioned to routinely monitor patients taking oral contraception as part of repeat dispensing, such as checking weight and blood pressure

Mr Harrison continued: “Community pharmacies are accessible healthcare providers and well placed within communities to complement the landscape of primary care providers. The CPCF recognises the role of community pharmacy within prevention and by April 2020 all pharmacies will be Healthy Living Pharmacies and will undertake targeted testing for HepC. Pharmacies will continue to deliver flu vaccinations and will also support in case finding for patients with Atrial Fibrillation. There is still more that the sector can do around diagnostics and with the right funding, pharmacies can play a greater role in improving health outcomes through preventative interventions.

You can read our full response here

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