In the year 2016, Sheffield’s healthcare system was voted the best in the whole of Yorkshire and has consistently been recognised in the top bracket on the UK leader board. That is amazing and we should be really proud of that achievement. The doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, radiologists, dispensers and every other person in the system work long difficult hours to care for the population of Sheffield and they fully deserve to be acknowledged. Although I’m a pharmacist who is working as part of this tremendous organisation, I’m also an NHS patient, and on behalf of everyone here at Green Cross Chemists, I want to say a massive thank you to all who have provided this fine city with excellent healthcare.
Community Pharmacy of course plays a crucial role in our healthcare system and I have seen how our profession has evolved extensively over the years. One of the most recent tranformations has seen pharmacies becoming Healthy Living Pharmacies. This is an initiative that has swept across the UK in the last few years and has now transformed in the region of 3000 pharmacies, including 3 of ours here in Sheffield. In this article, I’m going to explain what a Healthy Living Pharmacy is and what it means for you.
The Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) concept was first piloted in Portsmouth back in 2009 and was supported by the Department of Health and Public Health England. Since then, it has rolled out across the UK and aims to form trained teams that are:
- Aware of local health issues
- Actively promoting healthy lifestyles
- Trying to tackle the health problems that the local population are facing
- Consistently collaborating with local organisations in the area
The fact that most of the population in the UK (>95%) live no further than 20 minutes away from a pharmacy means that we are ideally suited for the initiative. The HLP concept is another asset to Community Pharmacy that is positioning us at the forefront of healthcare in the UK.
According to Public Health England, Healthy Living Pharmacies are:
- Improving the health of the public and driving improvements in service quality and innovation
- Helping people quit smoking more successfully than non-HLP’s
- Consistently delivering high-quality public health services
- Reaching out to local communities (e.g. Universities, Schools etc) and offering health advice and services
Overall, HLP’s are having a positive impact on the Community. They are helping to keep the population healthier while reducing the number on non-urgent GP visits.
Sheffield has many pharmacies with HLP Level 1 status. To find one close to you, simply use the search tool provided by the Royal Society for Public Health. Access the tool here.
Our Crosspool, Greenhill and Oakbrook branches are now Healthy Living Pharmacy qualified and in each of our stores are healthy living “champions“. If you have any questions about your health or would like support, come and talk to us confidentially. Whatever your condition, whether you want to improve your blood pressure, get fitter or improve your diet, we will help you get to where you want to be 🙂