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.