The high street clinic concept, which centres on moving community pharmacy away from a focus on dispensing and towards improving population health, was unveiled at a North East London local pharmaceutical committee (NEL LPC) event in Ilford, London last night (January 15).
The initiative emphasises the vital role community pharmacy can play in encouraging lifestyle changes to improve patient health, and the importance of working with other healthcare stakeholders to achieve this.
Highlighting a recent and “long overdue” health policy focus on the role local communities can play in bettering their own health, NEL LPC added that this requires “a radical transformation of community services”.
Part of this necessary shift is “breaking down the silos between services and reducing fragmentation in service delivery”, the LPC said. It added that “community pharmacy and the modern equivalent, the high street clinic, is an important part of the solution”.
Speaking at last night’s event, Hemant Patel, secretary of NEL LPC, said the high street clinic concept is about “the possibilities beyond dispensing and how we can use our other skills: clinical; public health; and our unique and strong links to the communities we serve”.
The high street clinic concept incorporates aspects including “enabling professionals to work together across boundaries”, “empowering people to take control of their own health and care”, and “making community-based care the central focus of the system”.
The concept can, the LPC believes, “help community pharmacy become more of a needed community asset, where transformative community services can be delivered with confidence”.
While stating that it’s not currently possible to put a date on when the first high street clinic will be up and running as it “depends on a lot of things”, Mr Patel said he believes we will see something “very soon” and that “it’s very important that there is a working model that people can come and see and learn from”.
The concept is, he added, about “how we move from where we are, as retailers in people’s minds, to qualified, competent and confident clinicians meeting new challenges”.