Cost-effective analysis of vascular and sexual health pharmacy services

Chalati, Wail (2015) Cost-effective analysis of vascular and sexual health pharmacy services. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


The role of community pharmacy (CP) in health promotion has developed over the last decade and a half following the introduction of the new National Health Service (NHS) plan in 2000. CPs have been turned into healthy living centres where individuals can access a variety of services designed to prevent disease and promote health. In 2005, three types of pharmacy service were introduced; essential, advanced and enhanced (currently known as locally commissioned). Enhanced pharmacy services were provided by Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) (until 2010) based on local needs identified by PCTs. In 2010, the Government decided to abolish the PCTs by 1‘"t April 2013; hence, PCTs entered a transition phase between 2010 and April 2013. By February 2011, each PCT was required to publish Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) report regarding the provision and need for pharmacy services. The national commissioned vascular and sexual health enhanced pharmacy services in England are Stop Smoking Service (SSS), NHS health check, Emergency Hormonal Contraception (EHC) and chlamydia screening and treatment services. In 2012, the Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) scheme, which was piloted in Portsmouth PCT, was expanded to 30 PCTs known as HLP pathfinder PCTs. The aim of this research was to identify the correlation between needs, provision and uptake of vascular and sexual health pharmacy services at a PCT and CP level. It also aimed to investigate whether the provision of those services was cost effective. Finally, it aimed to determine the impact of the introduction of the HLP scheme on the provision and uptake of those services. At a PCT level, the PNA reports were used to identify the CP provision of SSS, EHC service and chlamydia screening service for the financial year 2009/2010. The local need for SSS (prevalence of smoking adults) and EHC services (rates of teenage pregnancy) were obtained from Health Profiles for each PCT. The need for chlamydia screening service (prevalence of positive chlamydia infection) was obtained from the National Chlamydia Service Programme (NCSP). Uptake and cost attributed to provision of those services for the financial year 2009/2010 were obtained from a short questionnaire targeted the public health leads for the related services in PCTs where the provision of services and the needs were identified. Simple cost-effectiveness analyses were performed on CP SSS and CP EHC provision, based on identified uptake and cost. At a CP level, a cross-sectional survey was conducted on 1 249 CPs in 28 PCTs across England in 2013. PCTs were chosen based on provision of SSS, EHC and chlamydia screening service identified in the PNA reports. 7 PCTs out of 28 PCTs were HLP pathfinder PCTs. CPs were allocated to one of five groups based on deprivation. The response rates for SSS, EHC and chlamydia screening surveys were 30% (42/138), 30% (42/139) and 19% (21/111) respectively. Data analysis identified that the need for SSS and EHC services were highly correlated with deprivation, with Spearman's rank correlation coefficients (rho) of 0.76 and 0.83 respectively (both P 0.001). The correlation between deprivation and the need for a chlamydia service was weak (rho = 0.25, P = 0.009). Higher number of CPs per 25 000 population were observed in more deprived PCTs (rho = 0.63, P < 0.001). CP provision (percentage of CPs offering a service out of total CPs in a PCT) of SSS, EHC and chlamydia service did not correlate with needs. The uptake of SSS, EHC and the chlamydia screening service did not correlate with increasing need or deprivation. However, pharmacists in areas of higher need dealt with a greater number of clients in relation to SSS and EHC services to meet their local needs, with rho of 0.4 and P of 0.01 in case of SSS and Pearson's correlation coefficient (R) of 0.36 and P of 0.02 in case of EHC. A cost-effective analysis of CP SSS provision found it to be cost effective when compared to no intervention based on NHS perceptive and the incremental cost per Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) gained. was £1 511. Similarly, the CP EHC service was also found to be cost effective with an NHS saving of £689 per unintended pregnancy prevented. The response rate for the CP survey was 19.3% (241/1 249). No significant differences were identified in terms of provision or uptake of SSS, EHC, chlamydia screening and NHS health check services between CPs with different deprivation neighbourhoods. 18.5% (31/168) of the respondent community pharmacists were working in HLPs. The uptake of SSS through HLPs (median = 6) was higher than that through non-HLPs (median = 4; P = 0.02)._Playing a more active role in health promotion was cited as the main driver for pharmacists to adopt an HLP scheme. Respondent pharmacists indicated that the introduction of an HLP scheme had improved public awareness of vascular and sexual health services available in CPs and they suggested the use of social media websites to further improve public awareness. Lack of time and the provision of similar services via other providers were considered the main barriers. Local Authorities should increase the provision of vascular and sexual health pharmacy services to meet the needs of their localities. They should use the latest technology to improve public awareness regarding availability of those services in CPs.

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