In Public Health England’s winter HLP newsletter they announced that over 8300 pharmacies have progressed to the profession-led self-assessment process and registered as a Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) with the Royal Society for Public Health. These 8300, together with those pharmacies who had previously been locally accredited and therefore qualified for their Quality Payment with NHS England, means that 9390, the vast majority of pharmacies in England, will now have this important quality mark. This is an outstanding achievement and is cause for celebration amongst the sector! Everyone involved should be rightly proud.
Being recognised as an HLP shows local commissioners, other providers of health and, perhaps most importantly, the public, that the pharmacy has the willingness and capability to engage proactively with the local community on health and wellbeing. It is critical that the achievement of the quality mark is not seen as the end of an exercise to achieve the quality payment but the platform on which to build to further demonstrate the difference pharmacy makes. Simply displaying the HLP logo will not be enough; embracing the culture and living the HLP ethos will result in increased effectiveness in service delivery, improvements in team productivity and customer experience and loyalty. All critical at this difficult time of funding cuts, uncertainty and greater demand on health services.
Community pharmacy has over 1.6 million opportunities a day to make every contact count on important public health issues such as smoking, healthy diet and weight, physical activity and safe alcohol consumption. We are also excited about the opportunity pharmacy has to engage with the most vulnerable within our communities and support people with their mental wellbeing, building on the excellent start shown with the team becoming Dementia Friends.
All HLPs must display their logo and maintain their status as a condition of registration so please do get in touch if you want more information on how to achieve this. We have some great resources to support HLPs to be the best they can be and have some exciting product launches for 2018. Register here to be kept up to date with further information.