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Benefits and barriers to the public health pharmacy: a qualitative exploration of providers’ and commissioners’ perceptions of the Healthy Living Pharmacy Framework

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Adam ToddORCiD, Professor Clare BambraORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Aims: The aims of this study were to explore the barriers to the implementation and progression of the Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) framework, from both provider and commissioner perspectives, and to ascertain whether the successes and barriers of the framework perceived by pharmacies are shared with commissioners. Methods: A structured qualitative interview study, using purposive sampling, was undertaken with 11 community pharmacists and 11 Healthy Living Champions (providers) from HLPs in the north of England. Four commissioners of such services were also interviewed. Interviews were analysed using a thematic approach. Results: There were many aspects of the HLP framework that the service ‘providers’ were positive about, namely, workforce development, engagement (particularly with the smoking cessation service) and as a motivation for pharmacy teams. However, there were areas of concern about low awareness among pharmacy users, the time involved in delivery, as well as financial considerations. These were exemplified by the health checks element. Commissioners also expressed concerns about health checks as well as a lack of cohesion between commissioners and service providers and a poor understanding of the broader framework. Conclusion: The HLP framework was perceived as valuable by providers although there were areas of concern. A key barrier to the framework – perceived by both providers and commissioners – was the implementation of health checks. This should be considered in future commissioning.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Firth H, Todd A, Bambra C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Perspectives in Public Health

Year: 2015

Volume: 135

Issue: 5

Pages: 251-256

Print publication date: 01/09/2015

Online publication date: 13/04/2015

Acceptance date: 01/01/2015

Date deposited: 05/02/2017

ISSN (print): 1757-9139

ISSN (electronic): 1757-9147

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd


DOI: 10.1177/1757913915579457


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