Community Pharmacist Independent Prescribing of Varenicline

Kent Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC)


The project supports the NHS long term plan. Smoking is linked to nearly half a million hospital admissions each year. Smokers are at a higher risk than non smokers of long term complications if they get COVID. This project helps patients get the support and help they need easily regardless of where they live in the county during a time when many services have been paused due to COVID. By utilising the community pharmacy workforce who have upskilled themselves as Independent Prescribers this allows patients good accessibility which is more likely to lead to better outcomes.

Project Aim

The aim of the project was to ensure that we were able to support patients who wanted to stop smoking whilst many face to face services had been paused. We wanted to do this remotely so that accessibility wasn’t a barrier. We also wanted to use Independent Prescribers so that the patient could have a remote consultation and a PSD could be sent to the pharmacy of their choice. Due to COVID there was an increase in the number of people wanting to stop smoking, we wanted to decrease the number of clients on the waiting list.

Project Objectives

The objectives were to reduce clients on the smoking cessation waiting list and to continue a well established service in a different way by utilising different skills from Community Pharmacists and by using remote consultations.


We expect the outputs to be low waiting lists for the stop smoking team. We expect the outcome of stopping smoking to be higher as clients have missed less appointments due to them being remote. We have also been able to facilitate translators (this is easier to do remotely) which has helped those people for whom English is not their first language.

Evaluation of the 'Provision of the Pharmacist Independent Prescriber Telephone Smoking Cessation Service' from the perspectives of service users, and Pharmacist Independent Prescribers can be found below.

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Project Team




Shilpa Shah

Kent Local Pharmaceutical Committee

Accountable Officer

Shilpa Shah

Kent Local Pharmaceutical Committee

Project Lead