Public Health Service

The Public Health Service (PHS) is a core pharmacy service and currently consists of 3 elements:

  • Providing a health promoting environment in the pharmacy
  • Offering a sexual health service (EHC)
  • Offering a smoking cessation service

The Public Health Service was initiated in July 2006, and further enhanced with the use of window frontage in July 2007.

During 2008/9 it was agreed that national service specifications would be adopted for smoking cessation, and a sexual health service for emergency hormonal contraception.

The Public Health Service aims to:

  • promote self care
  • make use of windows/frontage and/or display space in pharmacies to promote health
  • provide access to appropriate health education information, materials and support
  • encourage a more pro-active approach to self care and health promotion
  • offer opportunistic interventions to promote health
  • provide a rolling programme of pharmacy based health promotion activities

The Public Health Service covers three core activities:

  • a health promoting philosophy
  • health promoting activities
  • a health promoting environment

Health Promoting Philosophy

Health Promoting PhilosophyHealth protection, health improvement and promoting medicine safety should be an integral part of a pharmacist’s holistic approach to pharmaceutical care services. In the spirit of “Health Promoting Health Service” all interactions between community pharmacists and their support staff with patients and the general public allows for the giving of opportunistic advice on healthy living and the encouragement and support for patients to self care.


Health Promoting Activities

Health Promoting Activities

Community Pharmacy contractors are involved in two areas of Health Promotion activities. These support the NHS Health Promoting Campaigns and support patients by providing smoking cessation services, sexual health services and prophylactic paracetamol following vaccination.

Community pharmacy contractors have supported campaigns on topics such as Flu Vaccination, Meningitis and Physical Activity. The support is provided partly by the insertion of a poster in the community pharmacy window and the adoption by the pharmacy staff of opportunistic consistent health promotion messages about the topic. National campaigns are focussed on priority areas such as cancer, coronary heart disease and mental health amongst many others.

Between NHS Health Promoting Campaigns generic display materials supporting community pharmacy contract services such as the Minor Ailment Service are used.

Health Promoting Environment

Health Promoting EnvironmentCommunity pharmacy contractors provide an area inside their premises to support health improvement activities, including the display of health promotion campaign materials and access to appropriate health education information and support materials.

Community pharmacy contractors are encouraged to ensure that staff, patients and customers are aware of Smoke Free Scotland legislation and community pharmacy contractors comply with the requirements of the legislation banning smoking in public places.