NPC Archive Item: Pharmacy-based stop smoking services: optimising commissioning

NOTE – This is an archive post from the NPC and has not been updated since first publication. Therefore, some hyperlinks may no longer be working.

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29th July 2009

In July 2009 the guide Pharmacy-based stop smoking services: optimising commissioning was published by NHS Employers as part of the implementation of the white paper, pharmacy in England: building on strengths – delivering the future.

The guide states that smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable morbidity and premature deaths in England, with half a million hospital admissions for adults aged over 35 attributed to smoking. Smoking related diseases are currently estimated to cost the NHS around £1.5 billion a year.

NHS managers responsible for commissioning pharmaceutical services, public health professionals and commissioners of stop smoking services should make use of this guide. It will also be useful to community pharmacies that provide these services and providers of core NHS stop smoking services. PCTs and Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPC) may find the pharmacy enhanced services pricing toolkit useful as it provides a checklist of cost elements to consider when costing an enhanced service such as a pharmacy stop smoking service.

The number of commissioned local enhanced services from community pharmacies to support stop smoking have increased significantly since the introduction of the contractual framework for community pharmacy in 2005. The guide states that in 2007/2008, almost 45% of community pharmacies in England were commissioned to provide this kind of service, an increase from 36% in the previous year. More than 1 in 6 PCTs, however, reported commissioning no stop smoking services from community pharmacy.

Pharmacy-based stop smoking services: optimising commissioning has been developed with the help and support of the Department of Health, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), and a wider group of key pharmacy stakeholders in the NHS. It includes current examples of good practice and offers useful tools, templates and checklists. This guide will help Trusts identify where they are now, where they want to be, and how to deliver their organisation’s vision, giving an overview of:

  • Baseline Mapping: assessing the characteristics of the local population who smoke and mapping the existing services
  • Providing a clear vision: including the need for better integration between pharmacy-based services and the local NHS stop smoking services
  • Delivery: Looking at how commissioners can manage performance effectively

What does this mean to medicines management?
PCTs and community pharmacies will need to focus jointly on increasing reach and access for smokers from target groups within their local population, including those hard-to-reach groups who do not routinely engage with other health services. Community pharmacies are ideally placed to give information that supports health promotion within the community by providing essential treatments, signposting relevant healthy lifestyle information and providing stop smoking advice.

PCTs will need to work with their LPC to ensure appropriate provision and commissioning of stop smoking services. Through reviewing patient pathways, releasing resources for investment and helping shape wider commissioning decisions, practice based commissioners will play a key role in shifting care into more local settings that provide convenient and integrated care for patients. PCTs should encourage their practice based commissioners to involve pharmacists in identifying priorities and commissioning new or redesigned medicines management services as part of their business plan.

How does this relate to other publications or evidence?
Choosing health through pharmacy, a 10-year strategy (2005-2015) for pharmaceutical public health, sets out how pharmacists and their staff can improve the health of specific population groups and targets particular health issues, contributing to the achievement of public service agreement (PSA) targets.

The NPC sections on developing community pharmacy services and commissioning may be of particular use for those wishing to find out more about the opportunities available through the community pharmacy contract and how to effectively commission services.

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