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JoggingJune 15 2016

NICE has announced it is to draw up a new guideline on how community pharmacies can promote health and wellbeing. It has issued a short consultation on the draft scope of what the guideline should cover, although the guideline itself is not anticipated until June 2018.

This initial stage of the work is to seek views on who the guideline should be for, its focus, settings that will be covered, activities and services to be included, and economic considerations. It will also propose what the main outcomes should be and sets out the context for existing community pharmacy involvement in health promotion. The guideline will also be used to develop a NICE quality standard.

It is proposed that the intended target audience for the guideline will be local authorities, community pharmacies and commissioners of health-promotion activities that can be conducted in pharmacies. However, NICE envisages that other people who may find the guideline relevant are pharmacy customers and patients, private and voluntary sector organisations involved in health promotion and GPs.

It will take into account the nature of community pharmacy services taking place in commercial settings such as supermarkets, as well as healthcare and community settings. However, it is not intended to include online pharmacy services or to reflect hospital pharmacies or those that people use as a result of referral or signposting from a community pharmacy.

Proposed key areas to be covered include promotional materials such as posters, TV or computer screens, self-help booklets and leaflets. It will also include the offering of advice, education or behavioural support, such as ‘Making Every Contact Count’, which encourages conversations to make people better aware of healthier lifestyles.

“Community pharmacies are well positioned to promote health and wellbeing to all members of the local community, including people who do not visit GPs or other healthcare services. As a result, they can help reduce both health inequalities and individual health risks,” says the draft. “Many health conditions can be prevented by people adopting healthier behaviours. These include type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and conditions related to obesity and smoking.”

Specific areas considered for interventions will include:

• alcohol use (such as brief advice)
• cancer awareness (such as information on the risks and benefits of sunlight exposure)
• healthy eating, weight management and physical activity
• lower back pain (such as information on how exercise can help)
• mental health and wellbeing (such as advice on how to get a good night's sleep)
• osteoporosis (such as advice on how exercise and diet can help)
• sexual health (such as advice on contraception)
• smoking (such as providing smoking cessation support).

It will not cover community pharmacy services not related to promoting health and wellbeing such as treating disease, dispensing, other medicine or device services, vaccinations, self-care for disease management, and urgent care.
To get involved in the consultation NICE has asked for comments to be fed through registered stakeholder organisations. Organisations that are not already registered with NICE need to do so by July 7.

Links:

NICE guideline in development

NICE guideline scope

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