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Sector expects role in national diabetes scheme

Pharmacies are the obvious place to deliver a prevention programme, says RPS president Ash Soni

Pharmacists, including RPS president Ash Soni, have called for a part in NHS England's planned diabetes prevention programme to be rolled out in 2016


Pharmacists have backed NHS England's plans for a national diabetes prevention programme, but said its success depends on the sector's involvement.

The programme, to be co-designed by NHS England, Public Health England (PHE) and charity Diabetes UK, was announced in NHS England's Forward View Into Action document last month (December 23). It would make England the first country to have a national evidence-based service of this type, and would be linked to the NHS Health Checks scheme "where appropriate", the commissioning body said.

The free programme, to be implemented from 2016, was "proven to work" and would help "tens of thousands" of people at risk of diabetes to eat better, exercise more and "make smart health choices", NHS England said.

The organisation told C+D yesterday (January 6) that it could not confirm what role, if any, pharmacists would play in delivering the programme.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) president Ash Soni told C+D the sector "had to be involved" because pharmacies were the logical place to deliver a prevention programme to "relatively healthy" people. Mr Soni hoped NHS England would look at pharmacy's track record delivering NHS Health Checks as evidence that the sector was capable of delivering this type of preventative service.

Prevention rather than cure

Contractor Sid Dajani said he “absolutely” believed the programme was a good idea because the NHS's focus on treatment rather than prevention had left it “creaking at the hinges”.

He hoped pharmacists would be given the opportunity to become involved with the programme “as long as there was investment and funding”. If commissioners chose not to involve the sector then they were "very short-sighted", he told C+D.

Ravi Sharma, a primary care pharmacist at healthcare provider DMC Healthcare who has worked on pre-diabetes interventions in general practice, said he had “no doubt” that pharmacists should be able to offer the prevention programme to patients.


In its document, NHS England invited areas who had made “the greatest strides” in developing diabetes programmes to email them at [email protected] by the end of January for the opportunity to become a partner in developing the programme. The commissioning body would publish its approach by March and implement its plan from 2016, it said.

A National Prevention Board, chaired by PHE and bringing together the NHS, local government and other stakeholders, would oversee delivery of the programme, NHS England added.

What part should pharmacists play in the diabetes programme?

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What do you make of this story?

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

Be assured that the role if any WILL no be paid for. The lemmings(Pharmacists) are not deemed worthy.

Kirit Shah, Community pharmacist

Yet another "FREE" service to be provided by the PHARMACIST on top of doing Flu vaccinations,MURs,NMS,STOP SMOKING,EHC under PGD,Chlamydia testing kits,Minor Ailments!! Shall I go on? And Contractors do not want to provide even a small incentive to those pharmacists who provide these services and imply that it is our professional responsibility or part of of our performance contract!!

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

"The organisation told C+D yesterday (January 6) that it could not confirm what role, if any, pharmacists would play in delivering the programme." and lose the opportunity of some good publicity? - in other words you arent included, go away and stop pestering us. once again the lack of understanding shines through - there is no national nhs health check scheme afaik - there are many different models dreamed up by different regions and implemented where they feel like it. oh dear..

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

The current NHS mantra is not "PREVENT" but "TREAT". The words Prevent, advice etc are used mainly in articles and statements and promotions worth £millions, issued by the DoH & NHSE. But no concrete actions are ever taken. There is no evidence any of these so called "Healthy Living Campaigns" making greater difference to how people go about their health. People know that the NHS is free and will take care of them eventually, so why worry. We need actions. We need to target the source not the subjects using these sources. Just imagine a kid being picked by a working mum/ dad, from the school and end up straight at one of the fast food joints, what have we learnt ?? Look at the position of the Health Centres and Pharmacies and you will see at least 50% + are located next to either a PUB or a Fish 'n' Chips, or some kind of an eatery place. What does this indicate? We need programmes where the people are engaged and monitored for their progress, we need to restrict the sugary and fatty contents in certain foods being sold........... OH sorry I was just day dreaming.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Forgot to mention our own RPS. Mr. Soni, the sector needs your organisation to raise your voice and concern in much larger issues related to the fundamental existence of the sector, not these free services that are only going to burden the already over burdened staff. We already give free advices to patients to take care of their health and about the risks associated with their lifestyle and future complications. If you really want the Pharmacy to be included, then don't settle for peanuts.

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

Pharmacy can contribute by helping with obesity and diet as preventative measures and managing meds after treatment begins, as well as helping motivate patients to maintain their treatment

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

***** The free programme **** Hopefully FREE for the patient and not to be provided free by the PHARMACIES, if involved.

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