A third of the public (32 per cent) is unaware that pharmacies offer flu jabs while four in ten (39 per cent) don’t know pharmacies have consultation areas from which a range of NHS services are provided, a survey carried out for the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has revealed.

Results of the online survey conducted in October have been released ahead of the NPA’s annual ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’ public awareness campaign, which runs from 1-8 November.

Only half the adult population (48 per cent) know you can get advice on managing your weight at pharmacies, but 66 per cent know that blood pressure monitoring is offered in some pharmacies.

According to the survey, many people want pharmacies to play a greater role supporting people with mental health and in care homes (39 per cent and 40 per cent respectively).

Almost half of those surveyed (45 per cent) see their local pharmacy as the “first port of call” for minor illnesses, compared to 27 per cent saying their GP, 17 per cent NHS111 and 6 per cent A&E.

NPA board member Reena Barai, who will be taking part in radio broadcasts for Ask Your Pharmacist Week, said today (October 29): “These figures show how much further we need to go to get the message across about the range of services on offer in community pharmacies.

Community pharmacist Reena Barai is an NPA board member

“Campaigns like ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’ week help ensure that people don’t miss out on the support available, which includes the several new NHS services coming on line in 2021.”

In spite of the awareness figures on flu vaccinations, the number of people protected by pharmacies grew nearly fourfold between 2015/16 to 2020/21, according to figures recently released by the NHS Business Services Authority.

The AYP week campaign is supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Campaign resources for are available here.

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