Public Health & Local Authorities

Professional standards for public health in pharmacy

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has published Professional Standards for Public Health Practice for Pharmacy which sets out a best practice framework for the delivery of public health services across all pharmacy settings in England and Wales. With public health services increasingly provided by pharmacists and their teams, the profession is now a key part of public health provision. The RPS and others have developed nine standards, which mirror the Faculty of Public Health nine key areas for public health practice.

Guidance for the Commissioning of Locally Commissioned Pharmacy Services (Jan 2014)

A new model has been developed to support the commissioning of Locally Commissioned Pharmacy Services. This work has been undertaken by the Community Pharmacy Competence Group (CPCG) which previously, as the *Harmonisation of Accreditation Group (HAG) developed Competency and Training Frameworks for cross accreditation of Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services. The approach taken has been to adopt a Community Pharmacy "Declaration of Competency" model which aligns to the model for the Department of Health’s New Medicines service self-assessment with which pharmacy professionals are already familiar. (*CPCGis a sub group of the NW Pharmacy Development Group that operates under the auspices of NHS Health Education North West). For further information click here.

Consolidating and developing the evidence base and research for community pharmacy’s contribution to public health (Jan 2014)

In July 2011, in response to proposals from the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer and professional leaders in public health and pharmacy, Ministers established the Pharmacy and Public Health Forum to bring together pharmacy and public health interests. 

One of the initial priorities for the Forum, identified by Ministers, was to evaluate and strengthen the evidence base for community pharmacy’s potential contribution to public health.This report provides an update on progress made, particularly in relation to

  • describing those aspects of delivering public health in a pharmacy setting that may be subject to research or evaluation
  • an appropriate high level scoping exercise of existing summaries or reviews of relevant evidence (including in the grey literature and including international experience)
  • advising the forum on potential gaps in the evidence base that would be amenable to research, with a view to informing research commissioning undertaken by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Public health services non mandatory contract (Oct 2013)

These documents are for use by local authorities in public health commissioning services including sexual health services. The public health services contract 2013-14 is adaptable for use for a broad range of public health services and delivery models. It provides a framework to hold providers to account for the delivery of these services to achieve improved health outcomes. The integrated sexual health services national service specification is to help local authorities commission integrated sexual health care and can be used alongside the non mandatory public health services contract.

Community Pharmacy – Local Government’s new public health role (Oct 2013)

The LGA has launched a new resource for  local government on community pharmacy with key messages for local authorities and health and wellbeing boards (HWBs). The document Community Pharmacy – Local Government’s new public health role highlights the important contribution that pharmacy can make to public health locally. Four main areas of common purpose identified are: Public health; Support for independent living; Making every contact count; and Sustaining communities and building social capital.

With locally commissioned services, Councils have taken on three interrelated functions: Pharmaceutical needs assessments; Commissioning some public health services; Supporting the development of community pharmacies as part of a broader strategic role (with HWBs).

The resource included useful case studies of community pharmacy and local councils working together and provides key messages to commission community pharmacy services effectively, including engagement and inclusion of Local Pharmaceutical Committees, and also key  questions for local councils to raise with community pharmacy.

Harnessing the power of information to improve the public’s health (Oct 2013)

Public Health England (PHE) is the strategic leader for public health informatics in England. This strategy describes the priorities PHE proposes to support, articulates a vision and starts to outline the ways in which that vision could be realised. PHE is consulting on this draft strategy in order to take on board the thoughts of public health professionals in England and further afield.

PHE launches new data and knowledge information portal (Sept 2013)

The PHE Data and knowledge gateway gives direct access to analysis tools and resources for public health professionals from one single portal. Over 100 tools are available through the gateway. They cover a wide range of public health areas, including:

  • specific health conditions – such as cancer, mental health, cardiovascular disease
  • lifestyle risk factors – such as smoking, alcohol, obesity
  • wider determinants of health – such as environment, housing and deprivation
  • health protection, and differences between population groups, including adults, older people and children

The tools serve a range of public health information needs, including the commissioning and planning of services, joint strategic needs assessment, health surveillance, understanding inequalities and variation, research and evidence. To visit the gateway, go to datagateway.phe.org.uk.