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“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee


Collated and evaluated by 2020health The Wells Family Challenge: A Pharmacist First Approach

This report analyses and presents a qualitative evaluation of the benefits of the Wells Family Challenge; an assessment of the impact of in-store pharmacists using practical tools and techniques on the health and lifestyle of families. The assessment was carried out from November 2011 to November 2012, in ten Sainsbury’s stores with in-store pharmacies across the UK.


The key output from the Wells Family Challenge was a highly informative picture of health literacy across the families involved and the mentoring role the pharmacist can play in preventing illness and encouraging healthier lifestyle choices. Health literacy refers to the empowerment of individuals and communities to read, understand and use healthcare information to access services and to better manage any illnesses they experience (North West Employers 2011: 2).

The findings from the Wells Family Challenge suggest that many people do not understand the links between the food they are eating, exercise and illness. The pharmacists involved in the challenge imparted educational value and in so doing provided much more than a service treating coughs and colds and alleviating pressure on GPs to treat minor illnesses; they can actually help prevent illness, a function that GP surgeries are not always able to fulfill due to competing demands. The early signs of disease start much younger than many understand and fully appreciate and if they are detected earlier, there is a greater chance to change habits and prevent the serious effects of prolonged poor lifestyle choices, ultimately saving GP time and potentially alleviating pressure on NHS services.


• Sainsbury’s used this evaluation to launch a new ‘Healthy Living Plan’ to its customers across its 277 in-store pharmacies.
• The report was praised by Health Minister, Lord Howe: “We welcome this initiative as an excellent example of pharmacists developing innovative new services to help families improve their health and lead healthier lives. This just goes to show the valuable contribution that local community pharmacies are making to help tackle the public health challenges we are facing in this country.“
• This report also formed the backbone of our submission to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s 2013 review.
• Chris Perrington, Sainsbury’s Pharmacy Superintendent, said: “The Wells Family Challenge detected high blood pressure levels in three out of four sufferers and high cholesterol in 81% of sufferers. This highlights the importance of early intervention and the role pharmacists can play in helping support people to manage the risk of cardio vascular disease.”


Press Release Well, well, with your pharmacist monthly, lose weight and increase your chances of a longer life

• Measureable health impact of pharmacy advice demonstrated in yearlong social experiment by Sainsbury’s Pharmacy with ten families across the country
• 65% of participants lost weight and 58% reduced their risk of stroke or heart attack within the next 10 years
• 81% of those found to have high cholesterol levels were not previously aware that they had high levels
• Sainsbury’s Pharmacy introduces new programme “Healthy Living Plan” to help customers manage the risk of cardio vascular disease
read on Well, well, with your pharmacist monthly, lose weight and increase your chances of a longer life