NICE published the draft quality standard in January

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has backed a call from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for promoting health and wellbeing through community pharmacies.

In its response to the NICE consultation on a quality standard for community pharmacies on the topic, NPA said pharmacists already have a long track-record in health promotion.

“This quality standard helpfully acknowledges the huge potential that pharmacies have to help people stay well, as well as treat people when they are poorly,” NPA said.

The association agreed to the draft standard in highlighting the importance of pharmacies and local commissioners working together to integrate community pharmacy services into existing care and referral pathways.

NPA also welcomed NICE’s selection of other key areas for quality improvement.

“Community pharmacy can more fully contribute to health improvement as part of a multi-disciplinary team, especially if it covers both health and social care,” NPA added.

NICE published the draft quality standard in January and today (February 14) is the last date for responding to the consultation. The final guidance is expected to be published on June 2, this year.

The launch of this consultation led to a controversial discussion on ITV’s This Morning about the appropriateness of pharmacists raising lifestyle issues with customers, including weight management. The NPA was among over 3,000 complainants to OFCOM about the broadcast, in which pharmacists were described as “pretended doctors” by a studio guest.

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