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Patients like Pharmacy First, but pharmacies face increased pressure: NPA poll


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Seventy per cent of NPA members indicated being under additional pressure”  after launching the service 

Patients are highly satisfied with the new Pharmacy First service, which enables pharmacists to assess and treat patients for seven common conditions, according to a survey by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA).

Nearly 100 NPA members participated in the snapshot poll conducted at the end of the first full week of the service.

Nine in ten respondents (87 per cent) said that “most or all patients expressed satisfaction” with the service they received.

However, many independent community pharmacy owners are facing challenges in implementing the service.

While 56 per cent of pharmacy owners surveyed expressed feeling “motivated” by the new service, a larger proportion (70 per cent) indicated being “under additional pressure.”

More than 30 per cent of the respondents found implementation of the service “harder” than they had expected.

Twenty per cent reported that their pharmacy had established scheduled windows of time throughout the day for Pharmacy First consultations to ensure the continuity of the essential pharmacy services.

Despite the challenges, 56 per cent of respondents were willing to “offer more NHS advice and treatment” through the service.

Announcing the poll results, Nick Kaye, the Chair of NPA, said that pharmacies in England are already providing significant benefits through Pharmacy First.

“Our poll shows that implementing the service is by no means easy. We commend our members for their efforts and their agility in making this an initial success, despite the challenges of introducing new processes and managing overall workflow in the pharmacy, not to mention the excruciating funding situation,” he said.

NPA members are provided with a comprehensive set of resources to help them implement Pharmacy First.



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