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PHE commits to doubling HLPs in five years

Kevin Fenton: PHE will push for greater pharmacy involvement in chronic disease programmes

Public Health England wants more than 2,000 healthy living pharmacies by 2020, says its national director of health and wellbeing Kevin Fenton

Public Health England (PHE) is “committed” to doubling the number of healthy living pharmacies within five years, it has said.

PHE national director of health and wellbeing Kevin Fenton renewed his organisation’s pledge to “accelerate the role of HLPs”, and said it would ensure they grew from “around 1,000” to “more than 2,000 over the next three to five years”.

The organisation was also “arguing” for the sector to be used to “scale up some of the big chronic disease programmes”, he said. PHE was working with the NHS on its health check and national diabetes prevention programmes, as well as a dementia awareness campaign, to ensure pharmacy played “a key part”, Mr Fenton told the British Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers’ (BAPW) annual conference last week (June 18).

Mr Fenton told C+D that PHE had been “absolutely clear before the election that pharmacy is going to play a critical role in the new health and social care system”. “We’re working with the NHS [and] GPs to support pharmacy’s ambition to be part of the local primary care family,” he said.

The organisation was “committed to continuing our championing and support of pharmacy”, and would work alongside the government's pharmacy and public health forum to identify the “most important areas for focus”.

"Pharmacy must be at the table"

“Given the current government’s focus on prevention and looking at ways we can support the NHS to both reduce demand and drive efficiency, pharmacy must be at the table and must be part of the solution,” he added.

PHE pledged to “accelerate” the expansion of the HLP network in a progress report on the pharmacy and public health forum last year, and Mr Fenton added that HLPs were of “tremendous benefit” to local communities.

“HLPs can be such an integral part of the local health system, providing greater choice and greater access [to] health improvement programmes,” he told C+D.

Last year, Mr Fenton told C+D that PHE saw pharmacy as a "critical partner" in tackling modern-day health problems.


What do you think about PHE's target?

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John Alan James Robinson, Superintendent Pharmacist

I totally agree when it comes to fair pay for a fair days work. Other than that, I wonder how many HLP's have been marked as excellent following an inspection. Some pharmacies work just as hard as HLP's and have highly motivated staff. Adding yet another badge to the collection means dotting 'is and crossing a few t's" An HLP is only as good as the weakest link. Getting the basics right and following governance is not easy. Also HLP probably only works well in deprived/urban areas. Some say that the money will follow. I have my doubts. And of course it will be linked to items dispensed.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

The money is already flowing, but in to wrong pockets for wrong reasons. How can you discriminate between Pharmacies based on what services are provided, which by the way are not funded by NHS or PHE, and then claim for the success of these pharmacies? Then you go one step ahead and announce the numbers would be doubled in a year !!! So, you know where the money is going. Most of the pharmacies provide very good healthcare advice (in fact some do diabetes testing, BP testing) free of charge but they don't call them HLP. That does not mean these pharmacies don't fit in to the HLP portfolio. We need to change mindset of the commissioners to work more closely with Pharmacies willing to provide wider range of Public Health services and support with something called as FUNDING, and not just boast themselves for someone else's free service.

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

More work, less money. I think I'll pass but thanks all the same.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

How about a new scheme with the same motive, HLP == Healthy Living People ???

JOHN MUNDAY, Locum pharmacist

As one of the first to become a HLP leader back in 2012, this is great. My only concern is that GPs won't wipe their noses without a fee, the same should apply in Pharmacy. Charity does not make a profit - when you offset the profitable tasks your staff could be doing when HLPing. HLP has to be funded in the future. SOPs are hard enough to do full on as it is, without these added nice to do distractions. Let's make these services pay!

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Oh, did I hear someone asking for the PAY?? Sorry, you are talking to wrong people.

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