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Pilot may lead to commissioned mental health pharmacy service in Lincolnshire

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Pilot may lead to commissioned mental health pharmacy service in Lincolnshire

Pharmacies in Lincolnshire have completed a successful six-month trial during which they provided face-to-face support for people suffering from mental health problems, generating optimism that it could become a commissioned service in the county.

The study, known as the Lifeguard Pharmacy Project, saw 37 pharmacy staff across eight pharmacies trained to help people experiencing suicidal thoughts or domestic abuse. Staff were taught how to talk to people in distress and signpost those who were at risk of harm from themselves or someone else.

Researchers on the project were drawn from the universities of Lincoln, Nottingham, York and King’s College London and the study was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) who provided over £400,000 in funding.

According to Lincolnshire Today, the University of Lincoln is working with Community Pharmacy Lincolnshire to train more pharmacy staff and get the service commissioned across the county.

Josie Solomon, professor in human-centred health at the University of Lincoln and the project’s lead, said feedback from the public and pharmacy staff highlighted “clear support for a quality assured service like Lifeguard Pharmacy.”

“We worked extensively with members of the public and with local services to create the service. People were extremely supportive and keen to help,” she told Lincolnshire Today.

Independent Community Pharmacist has contacted Community Pharmacy Lincolnshire to ask how many more pharmacies and pharmacy team members could take part in the project and how likely the service is to be commissioned across the county and other parts of England.

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