Dispensing Health Equality examines the critical role community pharmacy is playing to support people’s health in some of England’s most deprived communities. Recent research by City University London’s Cass Business School shows the richest 5% of men are living an average of 96.2 years, which is 34.2 years longer than the poorest 10% of men. The gap is 1.7 years wider than 1993, when the two figures were closest together. The richest women live 98.5 years on average, 31.5 years more than the poorest women.
The NHS is facing unprecedented financial pressures and general practice teams are struggling to cope with an expanding workload. While GP numbers decline, the number of people requiring care and support, in particular vulnerable older people, continues to rise. Community pharmacy could help the NHS unlock many millions of pounds every year, and improve the quality of later life, through regular review of patients’ medicines use. GPs are increasingly concerned that older people could be taking too many medicines, and are not taking them as prescribed, new research shows. Dispensing Health in Later Life reveals that GPs believe more than half their patients (50.3%) aged over 75, and taking four or more medicines, would benefit from taking fewer medicines.
A new cross-sector paper, We Are Primary Care, published by a broad spectrum of primary care health professionals, urges the public and policy makers to look beyond general practice as the only alternative to hospital care. The paper highlights the political drive to address the extreme demand and fiscal pressure on the NHS by taking care out of hospital and into the community, but argues that this can only be successful if people have a clear understanding that GPs are not always the most appropriate first contact. It further argues that reducing demand is an imperative and that high street health specialists have a key role to play in tackling public health challenges like smoking and obesity.
‘Who do you think we are?’ a paper published by Pharmacy Voice, to mark the launch of a new long-term campaign, Dispensing Health, addresses the results of new YouGov research that shows a lack of public understanding of the role community pharmacy can play in helping manage the common ailments in their everyday health, and in helping people to live healthily.