Facilitating self-care through community pharmacy in England

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In England, almost all the population are within a short walk of a community pharmacy. This network of pharmacies provides a range of services, most of which are commissioned and remunerated through a nationally agreed contract with the National Health Service (NHS). Over time this contract has seen funding move from the traditional core service of dispensing medicines, toward patient-facing clinical services. All of these services have elements of self-care built in to the service specification, which pharmacists are mandated to deliver. These services significantly expand the role of the community pharmacist beyond facilitating self-care by supplying “over the counter” (OTC) medication. The increased public health role, where promotion of healthy living and prevention of disease is now seen as an essential activity by and for pharmacists. Changes to UK health policy, where the focus has been on delivering care closer to the patients' home, means community pharmacists have an increasing role in the effective management of acute and long-term conditions. The most recent contract afforded to pharmacy has now started to integrate pharmacy services with medical services, in both primary and secondary care, in attempt to provide greater continuity for the patient. It is very likely that self-care activities provided by community pharmacy will expand further, especially around the management of long-term conditions as the pharmacy workforce transitions in to having prescribing rights for medicines other than non-prescription medicines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100404
JournalExploratory Research in Clinical and Social Pharmacy
Early online date28 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024


  • self-care
  • community pharmacy
  • pharmacist
  • England

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