Pharmacy and public health: examining the link between strategy and practice

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Despite having been described by the then (2003) Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England as ·probably the biggest untapped resource for health
improvement", the development of the public health function of community pharmacists has been limited. However, devolution of healthcare budgets has led 10 differential rates of development of the public health function in each administration of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).
This is measured and reflected upon in this thesis. Two large-scale surveys were conducted, one of key strategic personnel (Directors of Public Health
and Chief Pharmacists) in Primary Care Organisations (PCOs) and one of practicing community pharmacists. This research highlights the fact that
community pharmacists have developed an individualistic, service-based approach to their engagement with public health that is contrary to the more collective approach adopted by the wider public health movement. The study measures the scope and level of health-improving services through
community pharmacy across the UK and shows that the nature of the pharmacy contractor (independent, multiple etc.) may impact on the range
and nature of services provided. Survey data also suggest that attitudes towards pharmacy involvement in the public health agenda vary markedly between Directors of Public Health, PCO Chief Pharmacists, and community pharmacists. Furthermore, within the community pharmacist population, attitudes are affected by a wide range of factors including the nature of employment (owner, employee, self-employed) and the type of employing pharmacy (independent, multiple etc.). Implications for policy and areas for further research aimed at maximising the public health function of community pharmacists are suggested.
Date of AwardMay 2008
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorChris Langley (Supervisor) & Jill K Jesson (Supervisor)


  • Community pharmacy services
  • pharmacista
  • public health
  • survey methodology
  • United Kingdom

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