Celesio UK hosts breakfast meeting at the King’s Fund 6 March 2013

Representatives from local government, public health, pharmacy, Healthwatch and academia were participants in a recent King’s Fund breakfast meeting supported by Celesio UK to discuss the role of community pharmacy in delivering public health. 

The discussion, chaired by Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, a GP and member of the Health Select Committee raised a number of important issues around the optimal utilisation of the community pharmacy network, including collaborative working with other parts of the health and social care system and the need for better contractual levers to support this integration, along with the deployment of more imaginative commissioning approaches to engage people in public health initiatives.

 Andy Murdock, External Affairs and Policy Director at Celesio UK said, “It is clear that whilst community pharmacy is widely recognised as an ideal network to deliver the public health agenda to local populations, there is still some way to go to make this a reality in the eyes of some. There is still a ‘blind spot’ with regard to community pharmacy’s capability and there isn’t always as much evidence as we will need to clearly demonstrate the value pharmacy delivers in public health.

An interesting product of our discussions was a call for the development of a comprehensive research and evidence base to clearly highlight the impact pharmacy has in this area. The imminent transition of responsibility to local authorities provides a fantastic opportunity for pharmacy and public health, one we must seize to root public health in local communities, and importantly, expand the evidence to learn from what works’.