What contribution pharmacists can make in smoking cessation efforts
In a speech about smoking and vaping, Primary Care Minister Neil O’Brien said Integrated Care Systems would be expected to develop tobacco control programmes and take a lead in turning the NHS into a national smoking prevention service.
We were asked whether there was an opportunity for pharmacies to be commissioned for smoking services, via ICBs.
Director of NHS Services, Alastair Buxton, said:
“Community pharmacy teams have always been a key part of local efforts to support people to stop smoking, but local commissioning of such services by councils has reduced in some areas, due to reductions in public health budgets. The Government’s renewed desire to provide more support for smokers to quit is to be welcomed, but it needs to be backed by a commitment to spend more money on prevention, as the Hewitt Review recently recommended. If that does happen, community pharmacy could be part of the team helping people to quit, via properly funded commissioned services, but history within the NHS suggests achieving such a shift in funding from treating ill health to prevention is easier to talk about than to deliver.”