A roundtable organized by National Pharmacists Association (NPA) discussed how an enhanced role of community pharmacies could help people with obesity.
Seven action points were recommended by the delegates at the virtual event which took place on March 31, in collaboration with Novo Nordisk.
It was chaired by Professor Maggie Rae, president of the Faculty of Public Health and featured representatives from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Royal Society for Public Health, Patients Association, UK Health Security Agency, Diabetes UK and NHS England.
The roundtable also heard testimony from a parent of a young adult living with obesity and a presentation of the personal experience of someone living with the condition by Sarah Le Brocq, director of campaign group, All About Obesity.
The delegates came up with seven recommendations on how the role of community pharmacies can be enhanced and enabled further to help those living with obesity. They are:
- All people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes should have access to weight management services with a specific focus on community pharmacy provision.
- Weight management and obesity services should have a greater focus on children and young adults, so that we can have the right conversations regarding healthy weight and intervene at an early point.
- All of us within the health and social care system should talk about people that are living with obesity. We should use this terminology to help stop the blame and stigma. It is as much an illness as any other illness.
- Promote community pharmacy as the setting for person centred services that can help people living with obesity. Continue to build on the strengths of community pharmacy which is a part of the NHS service offering.
- Use Health Champions, Social Prescribing services, and localized health services to enhance the community pharmacy service across the United Kingdom.
- Improving pharmacy teams’ knowledge, skills, understanding and practical application of obesity and obesity services, including the pharmacy undergraduate curriculum.
- Seek opportunities that are likely to emerge from the genetic and digital revolutions to improve services to those living with obesity.
Helga Mangion, policy manager at the NPA, said: “I thank those living with obesity on sharing their experiences. It was great to see so many healthcare professionals bringing together their expertise in one place and I’m delighted that the NPA was able to facilitate such an important conversation.
“With obesity levels on the increase across the UK and the ability for patients to easily access community pharmacy, community pharmacy has an important role to play in the prevention and management of the condition.”