General practice pharmacist scheme evaluation indicates ‘improved capacity’ as the main benefit

General practice pharmacist scheme evaluation indicates ‘improved capacity’ as the main benefit

July 31 2018 General practices employing pharmacists are citing improved capacity to see patients...

Asthma deaths levels increase by a quarter in a decade

Asthma deaths levels increase by a quarter in a decade

July 26 2018 There were 1,320 deaths due to asthma in England and Wales in 2017, the highest...

NPA and Age UK ask for help on building polypharmacy dossier

NPA and Age UK ask for help on building polypharmacy dossier

July 25 2018 The National Pharmacy Association is asking its members for case studies on...

Pharmacy bodies welcome Health Secretary’s pledge to invest in community pharmacy

Pharmacy bodies welcome Health Secretary’s pledge to invest in community pharmacy

July 24 2018 New Health Secretary Matt Hancock has called for investment in primary care and...

NHS Digital seeks views on SCR with Additional Information

NHS Digital seeks views on SCR with Additional Information

July 24 2018 A survey to assess the benefits and/or disadvantages of health professionals...

  • General practice pharmacist scheme evaluation indicates ‘improved capacity’ as the main benefit

    General practice pharmacist scheme evaluation indicates ‘improved capacity’ as the main benefit

    Tuesday, 31 July 2018 15:31
  • Asthma deaths levels increase by a quarter in a decade

    Asthma deaths levels increase by a quarter in a decade

    Thursday, 26 July 2018 15:08
  • NPA and Age UK ask for help on building polypharmacy dossier

    NPA and Age UK ask for help on building polypharmacy dossier

    Wednesday, 25 July 2018 13:46
  • Pharmacy bodies welcome Health Secretary’s pledge to invest in community pharmacy

    Pharmacy bodies welcome Health Secretary’s pledge to invest in community pharmacy

    Tuesday, 24 July 2018 12:53
  • NHS Digital seeks views on SCR with Additional Information

    NHS Digital seeks views on SCR with Additional Information

    Tuesday, 24 July 2018 12:41

Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
More inWhite Papers  

HealthyStartApril 13 2016

Action to improve uptake of the Healthy Start voucher scheme has resulted in a 13.3% increase in Lothian, a study has found. This compares to a 8.4% decline for the rest of Scotland.

Healthy Start is intended to provide food and vitamin vouchers for low income pregnant women and families, and pregnant women under 18 years of age regardless of financial circumstances. However, around a quarter of eligible women and children miss out, said the researchers. The aim of their study was to increase voucher uptake to 90% in the study’s catchment area.

Currently, eligible pregnant women and children over one and under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week, and children under one year old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week.

Vouchers can be used at food retailers and pharmacies which are participating in the scheme to purchase:

  • plain cow’s milk – whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed. It can be pasteurised, sterilised, long life or UHT;
  • plain fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables;
  • infant formula milk that says it can be used from birth and is based on cow’s milk.

“There is considerable variation in voucher receipt, even in areas of highest entitlement where word of mouth sharing between families and wider acceptance of vouchers in local shops may be expected to maximise uptake. Understanding the support required to boost voucher receipt will help us improve support for low income families,” said the researchers.

They used an improvement model to identify ways to improve documentation, sign up and referral, and encouraged midwives and antenatal clinics to help increase awareness. “Success relied on understanding the process, testing improvements, sharing team and small area data, and employing welfare rights advisers.

“The benefits have extended beyond the Healthy Start programme, to boost family budgets attending a welfare rights adviser by an average of £4,500,” concluded the researchers. “These successes are achievable across the UK, as the benefits, tax credits, and other supports are available UK-wide, and there are lessons here for early years workers and families interacting with welfare systems across the world.”

Links:

BMJ Quality Improvement Reports announcement

G Mackenzie. BMJ Quality Improvement Programme. ‘Increasing Healthy Start food and vitamin voucher uptake for low income pregnant women (Early Years Collaborative Leith Pioneer Site)’. BMJ Qual Improv Report 2016;5. Published online April 11 2016

NHS Lothian Healthy Start Vouchers

Healthy Start website

Practice News

July 31 2018 General practices employing pharmacists are citing improved capacity to see patients and workload changes as the main benefits of the scheme.
July 25 2018 Switching to sulfonylureas in type 2 diabetes has been linked with an increased risk of complications compared with staying on metformin, a BMJ study has concluded. However, the study has...