Quality statement 4: Health inequalities
Community pharmacy teams are often well established within the community, have good relationships with the local population, and a good understanding of their needs and challenges. People from underserved groups, such as some minority ethnic groups, people who are homeless or have no permanent address, and those unlikely to use other healthcare services, can get support when they need it without making an appointment. This knowledge and expertise within community pharmacies can inform commissioning of health and wellbeing interventions that are most relevant to the local population and will have the biggest impact on health inequalities.
a) Evidence of actions taken locally between community pharmacies and commissioners to agree health and wellbeing interventions needed to support people from underserved groups.
b) Evidence of local commissioning agreements for provision of health and wellbeing interventions according to local need.
Data source: Local data collection, for example, review of local contracts with relevant commissioners.
Proportion of community pharmacy team members who agree that the health and wellbeing services that they are commissioned to deliver reflect the needs of the local population.
Numerator – the number in the denominator who agree that the health and wellbeing services that they are commissioned to deliver reflect the needs of the local population.
Denominator – the number of community pharmacy team members.
Data source: Local data collection, for example, information collected through surveys of community pharmacy teams.
Service providers (such as community pharmacies, primary care networks, GP practices, social care providers, and community and voluntary sector organisations) use their knowledge of the needs of the local population and of the gaps in services, captured by the pharmaceutical and joint strategic needs assessments, to address local health inequalities. Because people from underserved groups may be more likely to use NHS services if they are provided by community pharmacies, providers agree which specific health and wellbeing interventions community pharmacies should offer to address local health inequalities.
Community pharmacy teams use their skills and knowledge to support people from underserved groups who access their services. They tailor health and wellbeing interventions to suit individual needs and preferences and to maximise their impact.
Commissioners (such as NHS England, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities) ensure that they commission services that reflect the health and social care needs and priorities of the local population. They work with service providers to gain a better understanding of priority areas, to identify local underserved populations and to agree health and wellbeing interventions to support people from underserved groups.
People from underserved groups are able to access many of the health and wellbeing services they need from local community pharmacies.
Community pharmacies: promoting health and wellbeing. NICE guideline NG102 (2018), recommendation 1.2.6
Adults and children from any background are 'underserved' if their social circumstances, language, culture or lifestyle (or those of their parents or carers) make it difficult for them to access health services or attend healthcare appointments.
Many of these groups may be more likely to go to a community pharmacy than a GP or another primary care service. As an example, this includes people who are housebound, homeless or people who misuse drugs or alcohol, and some people from minority ethnic groups, including Gypsy, Traveller and Roma people. A full list can be found in the equality impact assessment for the NICE guideline on community pharmacies.