NHS community pharmacy teams play a major role in supporting and caring for people, keeping them well and identifying those at an early stage of illness. Many people access their local pharmacy for a variety of healthcare needs, including medication, flu or Covid-19 vaccinations, and for consultations over minor illnesses. Following an expansion of their role, the majority of pharmacies deliver a blood pressure testing service to people aged over 40 which helps to ensure the NHS diagnoses more cardiovascular disease, saving thousands of lives.
Most pharmacies support people who’d like help managing their weight, with advice and referral to support and exercise groups. A smoking cessation service allows NHS trusts to refer patients who’ve stopped smoking in hospital to a community pharmacy. This enables them to get the right medication or nicotine replacement therapy and personal support they need to quit for good.
Community pharmacies also do their bit to protect the environment, encouraging people to return unwanted and used inhalers for disposal. Learn more about the role of community pharmacies through the following video profiles filmed in West Yorkshire.
Focus on the importance of community pharmacy
Asghar Khan, Managing Director of Medicare Pharmacy in Honley, West Yorkshire, explains how community pharmacy as an integral part of NHS primary health care can help to reduce health inequalities.
Focus on GP – Community Pharmacist Consultation Service
Keith Kendall, Regional Senior Pharmacy Integration Lead, North East and Yorkshire, discusses the clinical role of community pharmacies, taking minor illness referrals from GPs to speed up access to care for patients.
Focus on Primary Care Network community pharmacy lead
‘Locally, we’ve broken down those historical barriers where we viewed other pharmacies as competition. We now share workload, we signpost to each other, and most importantly we are putting the patients first.’
Ashley D Cohen, Managing Director of Pharm-Assist (Healthcare) at Halton, West Yokrshire, and community pharmacy lead at Seacroft primary care network (PCN), discusses the role, responsibilities and benefits of the community pharmacy lead within a PCN.
‘I’d encourage all pharmacists out there to have a look at their PCNs to see where they may be able to help and support.’
In this second clip, Ashley talks further about the professional benefits and challenges as Primary Care Network community pharmacy lead.
Focus on Community pharmacies as part of the community
Fahad Rehman, Operational Lead at Medicare Chemists, and Jo Hilton-Jones, Public Health Manager at Kirklees Council, explain how local pharmacies can play a leading role in NHS programmes, such as the Covid-19 vaccination campaign through partnership working and building on established relationships with their communities.
Focus on Hospital Discharge Medicine Service
‘The Discharge Medicine Service is a great service for communication between primary and secondary care. It is really great for continuity of care of the patient, it’s great for communication between ourselves and the GP and it’s great with the patients having a good relationship with us.’
Rochelle Cohen, Pharmacist Manager at Pharm-Assist (Healthcare) at Halton, West Yorkshire, gives her professional insight into the NHS Discharge Medicine Service.
In this second clip, Rochelle illustrates how pharmacists can have a positive impact on the Discharge Medicine Service process.
In this final clip, Rochelle summarises the value of the Discharge Medicine Service to pharmacy professionals in supporting patients’ medication needs.
Further information: NHS England Pharmacy.