Public health


Public health is a core activity for members working in community practice and those working in speciality and in primary care roles.

Westminster’s white paper (Healthy Lives, Healthy People) and the related Public Health Outcomes Framework has now provided us with an opportunity to champion this work in England. We aim to establish and promote pharmacists as one of the key public health resources in the new structure of Public Health England. Through our well reasoned evidence based submission to the Healthy Lives, Healthy People white paper and our campaign activity aimed at DH and local government we will continue to lobby for pharmacist inclusion in all aspects of public health.

The Pharmacy and Public Health Forum was established in July 2011 to provide leadership for the development, implementation and evaluation of public health practice for pharmacy in the Government’s drive to improve the public’s health. It leads on developing the pharmacy contribution to public health, and has established 6 task groups for specific work stream; Commissioning Public Health Services from Community Pharmacy, Evidence base and research, Healthy Living Pharmacy implementation and roll out, Work force, training and infrastructure, Business support and Public health standards. Helen Gordon, Chief Executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, is leading the work stream to develop professional standards for public health practice for pharmacy. 

In Scotland pharmaceutical public health has been a core role in the community pharmacy contract for  several years. The delivery of smoking cessation and emergency hormonal contraception services has proved extremely successful from community pharmacies throughout Scotland and other local services such as alcohol brief interventions, weight management and cardiovascular risk assessment are being evaluated.

In Wales we were pleased that the Welsh Assembly Government has reconfirmed its belief that pharmacy plays a vital role in the public health agenda by delivered on its promise of extending the NHS flu vaccination service to community pharmacies. This services is currently only available through selected pharmacies but hopefully following  evaluation of the service will become widespread across Wales. This new NHS public health services builds on the established services of emergency hormonal contraception, guide for members on EHC, smoking cessation services and the successful collaborate of community pharmacies and Public Health Wales in an Annual all Wales public health campaign.