The healthcare industry plays an important role within the community and is essential for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of patients. Community pharmacies are now either registered as a Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) or working towards becoming one through Health Champion Training. As part of this process, at least one team member is required to complete the Royal Society for Public Health Level 2 award in Understanding Health Improvement.
For community pharmacy teams, continuous education and training is essential to better understand their community’s health and well-being as well as existing health inequalities. VirtualOutcomes is a leading online training provider for health care professionals delivering high-quality online training and support for community pharmacies.
What Is Health Champion Training?
The Health Champion Training qualification is recognised by the Department of Health and forms part of the requirements to become a Level 1 Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP). The training focuses on the four modules in the RSPH (Royal Society for Public Health):
- Understanding inequalities in health development and the current policies for addressing them
- How effective communication can support health messages
- Learn how to promote improvements in health and well-being in individuals
- Understanding the impact of change improving an individual’s health and well-being
Health Champion Training provides the necessary tools to help start conversations with people inside the pharmacy about any health issues. Please visit the dedicated Health Champion Training page for more information on course content, assessment and registration.
Healthy Living Pharmacies, Regulations And Online Courses
Healthy Living Pharmacies (HLP) aim at delivering a broad range of consistently high-quality services through community pharmacies. The HLP framework promotes workforce development, appropriate premises and improved engagement. This involves a skilled team that can proactively promote behaviour change with the primary goal of improving health and well-being. It also includes effective communication with the local community, health care professionals, social care and public health authorities.
The pharmacy regulator, the General Pharmaceutical Society, also requires pharmacy teams to undertake regular professional development which is reviewed as part of any pharmacy inspection. All courses come with a certificate that you can download upon successful completion of 5-8 CPD questions. Here’s a closer look at the standards for pharmacy professionals.
The courses are short, easily accessible and cover topics such as exercising, alcohol intake, smoking, mental health, GDPR and Flu among others. Team members have the opportunity to receive a certificate as evidence of training for the GPhC and/or Healthy living Pharmacy file. Each course links to additional resources such as posters, pamphlets and other materials the team can easily access, download and print.
It also includes examples of how to create eye-catching health promotion displays inside the pharmacy. This provides team members with ideas on how to create displays, how to engage the public in potentially difficult conversations and how to signpost people if they need additional support. Everything aims at adding further impetus to the team’s campaigns to educate and help improve public health perception and awareness.
What Online Courses Are Available And Who Can Access Them?
First up in 2019 is our course on Cervical Cancer Screening. It marks the 10-year anniversary of Jade Goody’s death from Cervical Cancer in March 2009. The online training module aims to help pharmacy teams increase awareness among their customers and their own family and friends. While survival rates from cervical cancer continue to improve, it is heavily dependent on early detection and raising awareness.
A shocking statistic shows that if all eligible women had regular screening, 83% of Cervical Cancer deaths could be prevented. Looking at the year ahead, one of the most important courses is Cervical Cancer Screening and HPV; so much so that VirtualOutcomes will donate 25p to the Cancer Research UK for every course registration. Other cancer-related courses take place in October and November focusing on breast cancer awareness and prostate cancer.
Below we’ve included a brief overview of the 2019 courses you can expect from VirtualOutcomes:
- Cervical cancer screening awareness
- Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD)
- Fall prevention in the elderly
- Oral health – National Smile Month (18 May – 18 June)
- Stroke Action
- Safeguarding children and adults
- Anti-microbial resistance (correct usage of antibiotics)
- Pain management
- Alcohol intake
Why Is Cervical Cancer Screening Important?
January is all about Cervical Cancer Screening and why it is essential for women to get themselves checked. Many women feel embarrassed about going for the test but it could be lifesaving. Women who ignore a Cervical smear are essentially putting their own lives at risk. A screening also includes testing for HPV (human papillomavirus) as it provides useful information to health care providers.
While Cervical screening is not an actual test for cancer, it checks for any abnormalities in the cells of the cervix which helps treat any changes early on to prevent cancer from developing. Although it is not 100% accurate and it can’t prevent all cases, screening is still the best way to pick this up.
Remember, we will only donate for courses registered between 1 January – 30 April 2019. Our Cervical Cancer module is the first course we have made available to every pharmacy in England as we believe this topic is of the utmost importance. Don’t delay, register today and let’s fight the war against cancer together.