Healthy Living Pharmacies (HLP)

Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP)

Training from Virtual Outcomes

VirtualOutcomes Login Easy Guide Dec 2018


What is a Healthy Living Pharmacy?

The Healthy Living Pharmacy concept was developed to by NHS Portsmouth (Primary Care Trust), working together with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC). It recognised the significant role community pharmacies could pay in helping reduce health inequalities by delivering consistent and high quality health and wellbeing services, promoting health and providing proactive health advice and interventions.

The Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) programme was then rolled out across a number of other areas as part of an HLP pathfinder programme supported by the pharmacy organisations and Department of Health.  South Staffordshire, North Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent were all pathfinder sites for HLP.

Being an HLP was included in the Quality Payment Scheme when it was introduced and remained so until the end of March 2020.  A community pharmacy had to meet either the stand-alone criterion to claim payment for that part of the PQS and for all of the criteria in a bundle to claim payment for any of the bundled PQS criteria.

In April 2020 being a Healthy Living Pharmacy became an Essential Service requirement, and all pharmacies are required to be able to demonstrate the skills to be able to claim HLP status. Discussions are still ongoing as to how the HLP requirements will be applied to distance selling contracts.

How to become a Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP)

The Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) framework is a tiered commissioning framework aimed at achieving consistent delivery of a broad range of high-quality services through community pharmacies to meet local need, improving the health and wellbeing of the local population and helping to reduce health inequalities.

The HLP framework is underpinned by three enablers:

  • workforce development – a skilled team to pro-actively support and promote behaviour change, improving health and wellbeing;
  • premises that are fit for purpose; and
  • engagement with the local community, other health professionals (especially GPs), social care and public health professionals and local authorities


HLP Register

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) was commissioned by Public Health England to create and maintain a Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) register, The funding for this finished on 31st March 2019, therefore, the RSPH will no longer be accepting new assessments of compliance.

The Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) register will still be available on the RSPH website. The public-facing register lists only those community pharmacies that completed the HLP profession-led self-assessment process on RSPH website. This list is not definitive and any pharmacy which declared itself a Healthy Living Pharmacy after March 2019 will not appear in the list.  Pharmacies who are currently listed on the register, will remain on the register for the time being.


To maintain HLP status, contractors must assess their pharmacy against the HLP quality criteria every three years.


Contractors will need to meet the requirements of an HLP Level 1 as defined by PHE (if accredited locally) or ensure they still meet the requirements if accredited via the profession led self-assessment route, and pharmacies must maintain an evidence portfolio.

Once contractors have met the requirements or ensured they still meet the requirements, a pharmacy professional will need to complete an assessment of compliance and retain this in the pharmacy.


Healthy Living Champions

How many Healthy Living Champions (HLCs) do I need?

The requirement is that each HLP has a full time equivalent HLC so if you have part time staff you may need to have more than one HLC trained to reach the full-time equivalent requirement.

Who should train to be a Healthy Living Champions (HLC)?

HLCs are members of the front-line team who deal with customers and patients and who will be able to give proactive lifestyle advice.  They will also maintain your Health Zone, look after your public health campaigns and get the rest of the team involved in improving health outcomes for your local population.

It is important to understand that the HLC role is not for pharmacists.  This is because although the pharmacist knows about public health and healthy lifestyles they will usually be busy with services etc. and the HLC role has been developed so that front line staff are spreading healthy lifestyle information whenever possible to as many people using the pharmacy as they can.

Pharmacists do obviously engage with patients about these matters e.g. when counselling patients and during MURs and NMS etc. so the HLC role is complementary to what the pharmacist should already be doing.

I was previously an HLP and have staff who were trained as Healthy Living Champions (HLC).  Do they need to retrain?

Regardless of what level your HLP was, if you have a qualified HLC they will have passed the RSPH Level 2 award in Understanding Health Improvement and should have their certificate either displayed in the pharmacy or in the evidence portfolio.  If you are uncertain check their certificate to confirm their Level 2 status.

There is no need to repeat the training for HLCs or to retake their exam – they already have their certificate.

They do of course need to keep up to date with ongoing local health needs.

What training is available for staff to be a Healthy Living Champion (HLC)?

Various routes are possible including online training and the staff member then sits the RSPH exam under exam conditions.

The LPC has an arrangement with Virtual Outcomes for pharmacy team training and there is a module available via them to train your HLC.  This training includes a discounted rate for the RSPH exam.  More information is available on the Virtual Outcomes info page on this website.

Leadership Requirements

Who needs to complete the Leadership Training?

The leadership training requirement is that either the pharmacist or the pharmacy manager completes an approved Leadership training course.

Where it is not the pharmacist who is undertaking the leadership training the person involved should have direct involvement in the running of the pharmacy part of the business and the leadership requirement is based around health needs etc. and so it is not intended that a remote manager completes the training.

Only one person needs to complete the Leadership Training per pharmacy.

How often (if at all) will I need to repeat the Leadership Training?

Once you have completed an approved leadership course there is no need to repeat that training to maintain your HLP status.

You can find more information on the PSNC website 

Public Health Campaigns

Please see the information on the Public Health Campaign Page of this website