- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Uncategorized
Mike Hedges welcomes news that Community Pharmacies are Smoking Cessation support and advice
Mike Hedges said…… This is welcome news; I am aware that some areas of my constituency have among the highest smoking rates in Swansea. In some parts, 30% of people smoke compared to the Swansea average of 22%. We should all be looking to support initiatives which support people to gain better Health – and one big way for this to occur is for people to give up smoking. It will have big benefits for both the individual and the wider community and Health Service. I know that giving up smoking is one of the most difficult things people can go through, and if people are smokers and would like advice and support, I hope that they will consider Community Pharmacies who can offer good support in addition to the Varenicelene support service.
There are 716 Community Pharmacies in Wales and every one offers Essential Services such as dispensing and disposal of unwanted medicines, and Smoking Cessation at level 1 (basic public health advice).
The vast majority also offer Advanced Services such as Medicine Use Reviews and Discharge Medication Reviews. Local Health Boards can also commission Enhanced Services from community pharmacies and amongst these are:
Smoking Cessation level 2: The provision of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to patients wishing to stop smoking and who are participating in behavioural support services.
Smoking Cessation level 3: The provision of one to one behavioural support and advice to people who want to give up smoking.
There is also a Varenicelene support service in some Health Board areas – providing an additional medication support.
The available data provided through NHS Wales on the proportion of Smoking Cessation services provided by Community Pharmacies shows the service to be effective at providing patients with a comprehensive support and treatment to help them stop smoking. The benefits of a Community Pharmacy smoking service include convenience of location, opportunistic advice, trusted relationship and contact with hard to reach groups.
The number of Community Pharmacies providing smoking cessation services has risen significantly over the past six years. However, the provision of these services is locally commissioned and there are still parts of Wales where it is not available – Cardiff and Vale LHB, for example, does not commission any Level 2 services and has the lowest commissioning of the Level 3 service.
Community Pharmacy Wales would like a more consistent smoking cessation offer through community pharmacies for the whole of Wales based on:
• Make smoking cessation an ‘advanced service’ as this will allow each pharmacy the choice over what they provide rather than be based on Health Board commissioning
• Ensue the ability for anyone working within a Community Pharmacy to deliver stop smoking advice / brief intervention
• Expand the number of pharmacies offering Varenicelene services