Take from: National Pharmacy Association (April 2008). Health Trainers Resource.


The Pharmacy White Paper, Pharmacy in England: Building on strengths, delivering the future, set out a clinical vision for pharmacy. It included how pharmacy, and in particular the staff that work in community pharmacies, could play a significant part in supporting people to live a healthier life, reinforcing that pharmacy professionals have a key role at the front line. Enabling pharmacy staff to become health trainers was in line with the vision set out by Lord Darzi’s in the Next Stage Review in 2008, and provided the impetus for health trainers working in, or closely with, pharmacies.

The emphasis on ensuring all health care professionals have the support and leadership to develop and deliver in light of this agenda is highlighted and it heralded the publication of this resource. The resource is designed to show how pharmacy staff can be enabled to become Health Trainer Champions and Health Trainers, and how they can support people to take greater control over their own health and care. Importantly, the development of the guidance has been led jointly by the pharmacy organisations and the NHS.

This work has been supported by the national Public Health Leadership Forum for Pharmacy, a collaborative leadership group made up of representatives from across the pharmacy profession, pharmacy contractors, and the NHS and public health experts. The provision of health improvement services from trained pharmacy professionals in a community pharmacy setting, based in the heart of communities, will be an important step towards the creation of Healthy Living Pharmacies, promoting health and well-being.

Since 2006, Health Trainer Services have been successful in engaging with “hard to reach” communities. By providing access to Health Trainers and Health Trainer Champions in a range of settings, which will now include community pharmacies, they have achieved sustained improvements in health and well-being through behaviour change. Health Trainer services have demonstrated that health inequalities can be reduced by informing, empowering and supporting people from disadvantaged communities to take responsibility for their own health. Developing a strong workforce to support behavior change and provide prevention services to local populations is needed throughout the NHS.

Pharmacy is more accessible than many other settings and less intimidating as an environment and the professionals working within them have the ability to reach out to communities who traditionally may not use conventional health services. Pharmacies are therefore a natural place to extend the Health Trainer programme, to reach out to more communities and develop new models of delivery to meet local needs.

“The Health Trainer programme has made remarkable progress towards achieving its aims of building a workforce with the right skills to tackle health inequalities, engage communities and reduce the burden of lifestyle disease. The addition of pharmacy based Health Trainers and Health Trainer Champions will only add to this exciting work.”

– Rachel Carse, National Programme Director, Health Trainers 2009

To find out more about Health Trainers and Health Trainer Champions working in pharmacies click on the link to the report on Health Trainers in Pharmacies at the top of this page. The report is designed to enable commissioners to make the most of pharmacy-based Health Trainer Champions and Health Trainers. It also demonstrates to employers and contractors how Health Trainers could bring added value to their businesses.

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