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The vast majority of the UK’s adult population has visited a pharmacy since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, a latest survey has revealed.

New data collected by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has revealed that 68 per cent of those who responded its online survey said they had been to a pharmacy at least once since March when the virus started spreading across the country.

Around 35 per cent of the respondents went to a pharmacy at least once due to their GP being unable to see them as a result of Covid-19 safety measures at the surgery. Among these,

  • 33 per cent were for access to medicines
  • 15 per cent were for health checks like blood pressure
  • 12 per cent were to examine changes in the body like lumps and swelling
  • eight per cent were to discuss changes to mental well being
  • six per cent were to discuss changes to physical health

NPA vice-chair, Nick Kaye, said: “This data confirms that pharmacies are an important aspect of life for most people, and that community pharmacy is integral to a functioning system of primary care.

“People trust their local pharmacists and most people can get to a pharmacy within a matter of minutes, including in the most deprived areas. That’s a level of access that is unsurpassed elsewhere in the health service.

“While other parts of the health service have deemed it necessary to restrict the amount of face-to-face care they give, pharmacies have kept their doors open throughout the pandemic, including all lockdowns.”

The survey was conducted as part of the NPA’s annual week-long ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’ campaign which ends today (Nov 9).

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