The ‘SelfCare Pharmacy’ initiative aims to provide a viable new model of pharmacy care that delivers results for patients and meets commissioners’ expectations.
Source: Kevin Britland / Alamy
The steps taken by individuals to support their own health and wellbeing — a concept known as self care — is becoming increasingly important in light of the heavy burden of long-term conditions, along with an aging population. But there is evidence to suggest that health professionals have not fully engaged with this approach to care. In 2005, a national survey conducted by England’s Department of Health found that more than 50% of patients who had seen a healthcare professional in the previous six months had not been encouraged to develop self care skills. This looks set to change in a corner of England’s capital city.
North East London Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) is recruiting pharmacies to take part in its new SelfCare Pharmacy practice. Its aim is to provide a viable new model of pharmacy care that delivers results for patients and meets commissioners’ expectations.
Speaking at a conference hosted by North East London LPC in November 2014, pharmacy minister Earl Howe described the LPC’s SelfCare Pharmacy programme as a potential “game-changer” for community pharmacy. People want more choice and want safe and effective services delivered as close to home as possible, ” he said. “Self care and self management are ways to make best use of healthcare resources.”
The SelfCare Pharmacy practice, which has been commissioned by Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), allows pharmacists and patients to develop a care plan together. Either by self-referring, or following referral by a GP or hospital, patients with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease or mental health issues will be initially invited to participate in the service. Using an assessment tool, the pharmacy and the patient will jointly create a self-care plan, which may also involve onward referral of the patient to external health and social care providers. The aim will be to empower patients to change their behaviour and to improve their health and well-being in any of 12 areas (see ‘Target outcome areas’) during three follow-up sessions held over a 12-week period.
Target outcome areas
Respiratory and smoking cessation
Daily living aids
Lifestyle and life skills
Body mass index