Devon LPC has secured £130,000 in funding to run a winter minor ailments service and train pharmacy staff to deliver lifestyle interventions, C+D has learned.
The LPC was awarded £75,000 to run a minor ailments service this winter from the Prime Minister's Challenge Fund, which was set up last year to improve GP access, Devon LPC project pharmacist Mark Stone told C+D on Wednesday (October 8).
It also joined forces with Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LPC to successfully bid for £55,000 from Health Education South West, Mr Stone revealed. The money will be used to train pharmacy staff to deliver health and lifestyle interventions, which will help aspiring healthy living pharmacies (HLPs) in the area gain accreditation.
Pharmacies in Devon would start delivering the minor ailments service "as soon as possible" and the target launch date was November, said Mr Stone. He explained the service would enable pharmacies to give out "simple medicines" on the NHS to patients who would normally have to pay for them. Under PGDs, pharmacists will also be able to supply medication including antibiotics for conditions such as conjunctivitis and urinary tract infections.
Mr Stone said the LPC was hoping to begin training pharmacy staff over the next month, starting with the north Devon area. He hoped this would enable pharmacies to adapt to the "changing environment" and provide "some great options to help pharmacies develop", he said.
The training will focus on public health and give staff the option to become health champions. Although the programme is designed for HLPs, it will be open to all pharmacies in Devon and Cornwall.
Securing the funding was a "positive" step, Mr Stone told C+D. "The Health and Education Board [funding] was 10 times oversubscribed – we were up against universities and secondary care trusts," he revealed. Mr Stone added that it was "nice to get on the radar" of the government and secure a share of the Prime Minister's Challenge Fund.