In its Constitution the World Health Organisation advocated a holistic model of health defining it as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ Other definitions capture the idea that health is a much more dynamic process concerned with the ability to realise aspirations and satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment. Pharmacists operate in the health arena and are confronted with, and challenged by, many of the factors that influence health status, behaviours and outcomes. This article shows how pharmacists can positively influence the welfare of their local communities.
This is the sixth in a series of feature articles and explores the important issue of health inequalities and how pharmaceutical practice can be adapted and directed, using a community development approach, to enable individuals and communities to take greater responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. It involves partnership approaches where professionals and citizens share power, plan and collaborate to make public services more effective, work to improve the quality of life and begin to identify and tackle the wider issues impacting on people’s health and wellbeing. The article illustrates this approach in practice across a range of issues and demonstrates the considerable potential community pharmacists have to make an even more significant contribution to the communities they serve.
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