Making the most of your pharmacy

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Summary of report content

As part of one of their 2017/18 priorities, ‘prevention and primary care,’ Healthwatch Bucks wanted to find out what people in Buckinghamshire knew about the services offered by their community pharmacy and to understand what services they use and, as importantly, why they might not use them. A survey was developed with input from the local council and the local Pharmaceutical Committee. Healthwatch Bucks staff visited 11 venues or events across the country, and the survey was also posted online on the Healthwatch website. The results varied according to age group. Regarding the awareness of the services offered, nearly everyone said they visited a community pharmacy for themselves or someone else. 98% of the people knew that their pharmacy dispensed medicines, this was higher in the 46+ age group. People who knew that pharmacies also offered a wider list of nine services (such as the New Medicines Service, help to stop smoking, sexual health services and home delivery) ranged between around 40 and 60% though 77% said they knew a pharmacy that offered the ‘flu vaccination. 77% said they had gone to a pharmacy for advice when they, or a family member, have had a minor condition. The majority of people (95%) said that they hadn’t been to the pharmacy for any advice for a healthy lifestyle. Recommendations made were: The Buckinghamshire Local Pharmaceutical Committee (that represents community pharmacy contractors) and community pharmacies should review these detailed findings to understand more about the specific groups who don’t know about their services so that they can focus their awareness raising efforts effectively and do more to ensure people in all age groups know about the range of services pharmacies offer that could help ease pressures on other parts of primary care and A&E in view of the low interest. In view of the low interest/awareness of healthy lifestyle advice, commissioners of public health services work with Buckinghamshire Local Pharmaceutical Committee look at how to raise awareness of the services on offer that can help people to stay healthy. Community pharmacy contractors check the patient feedback on the HW website at regular intervals and use it to improve their service.

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General details

Report title 
Making the most of your pharmacy
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Buckinghamshire
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 14 November, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 4 July, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 31 July, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Health promotion
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

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 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

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.