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NPA data highlights public’s growing appreciation for community pharmacies

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Consumer research reveals Britons are embracing community pharmacies as their healthcare settings

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA), released survey data today (30 October) which suggests Britons have a higher regard for community pharmacies than retail settings.

It also highlighted the level of awareness of pharmacies’ healthcare duties, which range from NHS medicines consultations to monitoring blood pressure.

The survey conducted by Research Without Barriers involved 1680 adults in England from 20-23 October 2023.

The data showed that over 90 per cent of adults in England are aware that pharmacies offer each of these services.

The survey also suggested that 56 per cent of respondents find it appropriate to ask their local pharmacies for help to quit smoking, and 63 per cent would ask for a blood pressure check.

Stephen Fishwick, NPA Head of Communications, said that the new data shows an “encouraging level of public awareness and acceptance of community pharmacy-based clinical services”.

He added that there is a sense of “recognition that community pharmacists are highly trained healthcare professionals” but he also believes that there is still a “long way” to go.

“That’s why we encourage our members and pharmacy stakeholders to get involved with initiatives like Ask Your Pharmacist Week, which promote the convenient clinical care on offer in community pharmacies across the UK,” he said.

Moreover, a majority of the respondents chose words like “medicines”, “convenient”, “healthcare”, “minor illnesses”, “caring”, “consultations”, and “expert” to describe their associations with community pharmacists.

Janet Morrison, Community Pharmacy England’s chief executive said: “The figures reaffirm the growing appreciation for the crucial role that local community pharmacy teams play and the critical nature of the skills and services offered by pharmacies.

“It’s evident that the public increasingly recognises community pharmacies as vital healthcare providers, offering services such as flu vaccinations and serving as convenient clinical healthcare settings: Government and the NHS must continue to build on this, ensuring these services are properly funded and that community pharmacies are sustainable for the future.”

She said: “As we approach another difficult winter season in healthcare, the calls for increased core funding and more support for community pharmacy remain essential and we will continue to press these points.

“During this Ask Your Pharmacist Week, the focus is on highlighting the expertise of community pharmacists and the broader pharmacy team, helping to build that case. We encourage pharmacy owners, pharmacy teams, and LPCs in England to support this year’s campaign if they can.”

Ask Your Pharmacist Week runs from 30 October to 6 November. Held annually across the UK, it aims to raise awareness of pharmacy services and to prompt conversations with stakeholders at a local level about community pharmacy’s role and benefits.

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