Service case study: Pharmacy4Mums2B pilot provides ‘excellent’ local service to pregnant women and new mothers
Published on: 14th January 2020 | Updated on: 28th March 2022
Pharmacy4Mums2B (P4M2B) is a community pharmacy service in North West London which provides support to women throughout pregnancy and for the first three years of their child’s life. The pilot was developed in collaboration between the Department of Paediatrics at Northwick Park Hospital LNWUH Trust, the Academic Department of Paediatrics at Imperial College London, and Middlesex Group of Local Pharmaceutical Committees.
In recognition of the fact that community pharmacy offers convenient access to expert support and information, the service was introduced to improve maternal and infant health in pregnancy, the perinatal period and early years.
The aims of the service were to maximise childhood growth and development, and reduce the incidences of:
- preterm birth;
- low birth weight;
- nutritional deficiencies;
- childhood infectious diseases; and
- poor oral health.
Delivering the service
The pilot was launched in February 2018 under the name Wrap Around Pharmacy Services for Pregnancy and First 1000 Days (WRAPPS 1000) which later became P4M2B.
Thirty-five pharmacists and 44 Health Champion-qualified pharmacy assistants across 30 pilot sites were trained to engage with women at key points in their pregnancies and early stages in their child’s development.
The pharmacy assistants were then able to deliver evidence-based health promotion advice, linking in with and signposting to key services, and referral to the pharmacist for further advice.
Pharmacists were able to provide advice on a number of areas including maternal and childhood immunisations, optimising maternal and childhood nutrition, smoking cessation and oral hygiene.
One year after the launch of the pilot, a total of 222 women had registered with P4M2B.
A key outcome of the service was the improvement in knowledge for women who accessed the service. Before accessing P4M2B:
- 31% of women reported not being aware of the importance of oral health checks;
- 24% were unaware of the importance of early booking for the antenatal clinic;
- 22% did not know about maternal immunisations;
- 16% did not know about the importance of a healthy lifestyle; and
- 7% were not aware of taking folic acid and vitamin D during pregnancy.
Women who used the service rated the service highly with 94% of respondents ranking the service ‘very useful’ or ‘useful’ and 98% of respondents said they would recommend the service to others.
Pharmacists reported that the greatest benefit of the service for them was their perceived effectiveness in directly increasing clients’ knowledge in these areas. Most pharmacists who gave feedback also felt that the service and advice provided had made a difference to the women using the service.