It is excellent news that we now have 9436 (88%) pharmacies in England declared as Healthy Living Pharmacies, this represents an additional 5% on the November 2017 declaration. For these pharmacies the key will be ensuring that all the HLP criteria continue to be met in order to maintain the status and thus be able to promote the quality mark.
Becoming an accredited HLP is just the beginning, its what HLPs then do differently, bigger and better that will define and differentiate them. This will then help them realise the benefits of the improved ethos, engagement, capability and activity that comes with doing the right things with the right people.
The next step is building on that capability and activity for a healthier future for their community and their pharmacy. Pharmacy Complete have a range of resources and courses to support this. Developing and demonstrating this capability and commitment should have its own benefits through increased productivity and delivery of both private and commissioned health promotion, prevention and protection services.
What we need to see now is the NHS and Public Health, at both national and local level, recognising the HLP asset to deliver against the Staying Healthy and other objectives within the recent NHS Plan consultation to reduce health inequalities and improve the health of the population. Good to see some early signs of engagement from PSNC and RPS with this consultation which requires new thinking focussed on NHS and public health needs both now and in the future.