A new vision for pharmacy in Kingston

Karen Titterington, Kingston's Healthy Living Pharmacy lead.

Healthy Living Pharmacies are spreading across the country and Kingston Council is working to facilitate their introduction across the borough.

A new brand of pharmacy is helping to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities. The Public Health England backed initiative aims to see pharmacy teams playing a greater role in local health services, working alongside GPs to improve the health and wellbeing of local people.

Healthy Living Pharmacies have completed a robust accreditation process. As part of this they are required to have at least one 'health champion' who provides health and wellbeing advice within the pharmacy, deliver a set number of health interventions, and signpost to other services that can assist people in adopting healthier lifestyles.

Councillor Cathy Roberts, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Public Health at Kingston Council said:

“Our vision for health is one where people turn to their pharmacy first, before going elsewhere for support. 20 per cent of GP consultations are for common conditions that could be dealt with by a Healthy Living Pharmacy.

“There are more than 30 community pharmacies across the borough and all are within easy reach of residents. Healthy Living Pharmacy accreditation is a mark of quality assurance and customers can expect to receive helpful wellbeing advice and be confident they’re getting the support they need from a trained professional.

"The potential for Healthy Living Pharmacies to change the way we think about accessing health care is huge. Their introduction supports the council’s self-care agenda, and by making better use of our pharmacy teams, we can ease pressure on other parts of Kingston’s healthcare system.”

Across the UK there are more than 2,000 Healthy Living Pharmacies that are accredited or working towards an accreditation. There are various levels of accreditation and each brings benefits for individual pharmacies. 

Speaking at the launch of Kingston’s Healthy Living Pharmacy scheme, Gul Root, Lead Pharmacist for Public Health England, said:

“Healthy Living Pharmacies improve the public’s health and drive improvements in service quality and innovation. The difference they are making is palpable. People walking into a Healthy Living Pharmacy are twice as likely to set a quit date for smoking, and stick to it, than if they walked into a non-Healthy Living Pharmacy.

“Why? Because people trust their pharmacy teams and can access them easily. Healthy Living Pharmacies equal trained professionals, at the heart of a community, that can offer health care and health interventions in an informal environment. Also anything they can’t resolve, they will direct to the right place.

“Eight per cent of A&E admissions could have been dealt with by a pharmacist, as could a fifth of GP appointments; that is why I urge all of Kingston’s community pharmacies to become accredited Healthy Living Pharmacies.”

A number of pharmacies across the borough have already begun the process of accreditation. For further information about Healthy Living Pharmacies and Kingston's accreditation process, visit the Healthy Living Pharmacies section of this website.