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Public awareness on NHS pharmacy services needs to be raised, NPA survey reveals

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The large majority of adults in the England knew that flu jabs are available in many pharmacies, just over half were aware of the GP Community Pharmacist Consultation Service or the New Medicine Service, according to a new survey by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA).

The new survey revealed the need to raise the public awareness of key NHS services such as the New Medicine Service.

According to the survey, 56 per cent of those asked believed that pharmacies in England offer NHS consultations for people newly prescribed a medicine for a long-term condition.

While 48 per cent believed that many pharmacies in England offer blood pressure monitoring (NHS or private). 51 per cent believed it to be true that GPs can formally refer patients for same-day clinical advice from their local pharmacist about minor ailments.

The survey found that 68 per cent believe that flu jabs are available in many pharmacies. 55 per cent knew that the majority of pharmacies have consultation rooms, from which a range of NHS services are provided. This is up 11% on the number responding to a similar NPA survey five years ago.

The results were released ahead of Ask Your Pharmacist Week, the annual awareness-raising campaign organised by the NPA and supported by NHS England, which runs this year from 31 October to 7 November. The theme for 2022 is ‘now at your local pharmacy’, highlighting NHS services that have been recently introduced or expanded.

The NPA’s Head of Communications, Stephen Fishwick, said: “The results of this survey show that there is still some way to go in terms of raising the public’s awareness of the clinical services now available in pharmacies. During Ask Your Pharmacist Week we’ll focus on specific NHS services, like the New Medicine Service, rather than a more general message about pharmacy advice.”

A number of activities are planned with patient groups to promote NMS, including a Know Your Medicines Q&A with Parkinson’s UK, chaired by journalist Rory Cellan-Jones.

NPA members, Local Pharmaceutical Committees and other stakeholders can find free of charge campaign assets at www.npa.co.uk/ask-your-pharmacist-week-2022 , including a suite of Getting the Best from Your New Medicines videos. NPA members can also access an NMS hub on the NPA’s website, which is a practical toolkit for delivering the service to more patients.

 

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