Off to a healthy start

Hina Prajapati, Numark’s pharmacy services facilitator, outlines what you need to get HLP Level 1 accreditiation

The Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) quality criteria published by Public Health England outlines what pharmacies need do to achieve HLP Level 1 status. The criteria is split into three sections and you must be able to produce evidence for each of the sections. These are:
• Workforce Development – This is about developing the pharmacy team so that they are able to demonstrate a healthy living ethos.
• Environment – This looks at the pharmacy environment to ensure it refl ects the standards and ethos of a Healthy Living Pharmacy.
• Engagement – This looks at how the pharmacy team demonstrate that they are actively engaging with a number of local stakeholders.
The key to Workforce Development is to talk to your team and engage them with HLP. Explain the benefi ts of becoming a HLP to the pharmacy, the team and your patients. This will help them understand the role they will play in becoming HLP accredited and why they will be instrumental in helping you achieve and maintain the HLP status.

Health Champions
Nominate a member of the team to take on the role of a Health Champion (HC). Health Champions will need to complete the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) Level 2 Award in Understanding Health Improvement. They will then take the lead in encouraging behaviour change by providing information on health and wellbeing, and signposting to areas where more help can be provided. Any member of the pharmacy team can become a HC.

To become a HLP level 1 you will need at least one full-time person to become a HC and at least one person who has completed leadership training.

A good first step is to review your pharmacy performance against the HLP quality criteria and develop an action plan for implementing Healthy Living Pharmacy using SMART objectives: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely. This will give you an indication of the time and workload required.

You should research and evidence local public health and pharmaceutical needs. You can do this accessing the Joint Strategy Needs Assessment at NHS Digital, Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment and Public Health England health profiles website to evidence this criteria. These should be discussed with the whole team so everyone is aware of the local needs. It will also help with working out which health campaigns to run.

The pharmacy team should be able to demonstrate that they can use NHS Choices. Pharmacy contractors are able to upload a profi le of their pharmacy and edit the information that is displayed.

Ensure the pharmacy team are well presented at all times by investing is uniforms and names badges. You may also want to have badges produced for your Health Champion so they can be identifi ed in the pharmacy. This will help develop customer relationships. Your teams should be trained in raising diffi cult/ sensitive issues, too. It is important that the pharmacy team understand how to approach customers and discuss issues such as alcohol, weight management and smoking cessation.

Set up a Health Promotion Zone in your pharmacy. You can use a range of tools such as a display board, a wall/slatted wall, or a table. However, it should be clearly visible to everyone walking into the pharmacy. Consider a professional header for the whole health promotion area so it is clearly identifi able. Set up a folder containing a variety of leafl ets under different sections such as healthy eating, stopping smoking, alcohol reduction, etc. You may want to consider leafl ets and posters designed for disabilities (eg, text in large print/easy to read for learning disabilities) and different languages to target the local population.

Try to stick to a single theme or campaign as this will clarify the message and consider running health campaign/ events in line with an awareness month. For example, how about alcohol awareness in January to run along the ‘Dry January’ campaign? Don’t forget to keep a record of your health campaign or event to form your evidence. Ensure that you have an IT system available in the consultation room with internet access and that your team are familiar with Information Governance.

Demonstrating how you are engaging with the local community can be one of the most diffi cult criteria to evidence. Start by identifying your local health needs and look at where there are opportunities for the pharmacy team to work with other organisations (such as schools and care homes. For example could you give a talk at a local school? Or could you run a blood pressure check at a community group? Ensure you retain examples of any correspondence.

Talk to your patients following their HLP experience to get their feedback and make sure you take photographs and develop case studies around outreach work. It is recommended that you set up and maintain a folder.

This is an extremely valuable tool and is also part of essential services as outlined in the pharmacy contract. It is primarily a local health directory which should be accessible to any member of the pharmacy team. The folder should initially be set up and collated by the Health Champion who will research local health and wellbeing services that individuals can be referred to, to access further support, advice or treatment.

Good luck!

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