Pharmacy: a way forward for public health

Public Health England has published ‘Pharmacy: a way forward for public health’, which sets out opportunities for commissioners to realise community pharmacy’s role in protecting and improving the nation’s health.

The paper provides a menu of interventions that could be delivered by pharmacy teams in the primary and community sectors, and flags up that growth in the healthy living pharmacy programme since a quality payment is now available for attaining HLP 1 status.

PHE has two areas of strategic focus:

  • Developing capacity and capability in the workforce to support promoting health through pharmacy settings
  • Developing the support for local authority commissioning of public health services through pharmacies.

The paper points out that pharmacy is the third largest healthcare profession, with a workforce of some 140,000 people, including 43,000 registered pharmacists, 19,300 registered technicians and 75,000 dispensing and medicines counter assistants.

Some £200 million is invested in training pharmacists each year, it is claimed. The average cost to educate and train a pharmacist is £90,000.

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