Stephanie Bancroft Steering group Lead, London North West Local Practice Forum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Christine Heading Deputy Steering group Lead, London North West Local Practice Forum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
There should be consistency in health improvement interventions delivered within community pharmacies. Consistency of in-pharmacy outcomes was therefore evaluated during a real-world campaign that (1) raised awareness of lung cancer and (2) provided services, including smoking cessation support, to patients presenting with possible symptoms of lung cancer.
Over a two-week period, staff in 29 community pharmacies in Northwest London spoke with consenting adult patients seeking advice, or a product, for symptoms matching early symptoms of lung cancer. Interviews began with questions retrieved from a modified counter aid. Staff included: pharmacists, pharmacy pre-registration trainees (PRs), and trained Medicines Counter Assistants (MCAs). Anonymous patient information; consultation-related information and actions plus interviewer and pharmacy information, were recorded.
Data were collected from 267 patients (127m; 136f), 114 being smokers and 53 being ex-smokers. Statistically significant differences were detected in the frequency of actions resulting from consultations with pharmacists, PRs or MCAs and in consultation duration times. Differences between pharmacists and MCAs were particularly striking, with GP referral rates by pharmacists three-fold higher (p<0.0001) and smoking cessation referral rates two-fold higher (p<0.002).
Smokers and others with lung problems may be receiving differing support from different pharmacy team members, during health campaigns.
Stephanie Bancroft is a community pharmacist and member of the steering group of the London North West Local Practice Forum (LNWLPF) of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Christine Heading is an academic pharmacist and member of the steering group of the London North West Local Practice Forum (LNWLPF) of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Source of funding: Funding was provided by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) to assist with preparation of some materials, but no individual received payment from the authors, the LNWLPF or RPS for work related to the project.
Declaration of interest: The Authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest to disclose.