Experience of using pharmacists in Oxfordshire 2020

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Oxfordshire heard from 370 people between February and September 2020 Respondents from Oxfordshire valued the role, service, and presence of community pharmacies.

Support was particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant needing to queue, maintaining social distancing and changed opening times.  People felt anxiety or stress at needing to go out to the pharmacist and that social distancing was not always adhered to.  There were also delays in getting medicines or medicines being out of stock.

Three quarters picked their prescription up at a pharmacy; 10% collected it from the GP surgery; 10% used a home delivery service. Five per cent of people picking up repeat prescriptions reported that medication was ‘never ready on time’, long waits, inconvenience and having to make multiple visits.

Over half sometimes asked the pharmacy for advice and three in ten never used the pharmacy for advice. People are not always clear who they are talking to – shop assistant or pharmacist – and sense that they are ‘too busy’ to talk.

The report contains three recommendations about better communication of the pharmacists’ role to the public, provide a confidential space for patients to use with the pharmacist and address issues highlighted with repeat prescriptions including delays, errors, and reliability.

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General details

Report title 
Experience of using pharmacists in Oxfordshire 2020
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Oxfordshire
Date of publication 
Friday, 21 May, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Saturday, 1 February, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 30 September, 2020
Key themes 
Access
Communication between staff and patients
Medication
Prescription
Quality of staffing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
What type of organisation requested the work 
N/A
Primary research method used 
Survey
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Community pharmacy

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
370
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Yes
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
 
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
 
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.