Summary of report content
Healthwatch County Durham undertook research into under 25’s use of pharmacy services at the request of the Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC). Their aims were to: Understand which pharmacy services people under the age of 25 are aware of; Identify which services (if any) young people have accessed previously and would in the future; highlight what barriers exist to service access and ascertain where young people look for information about services.
They undertook a survey to which 439 young people responded.
They found that young people had a good overall awareness of the services offered by pharmacies, although when talking to young people, many asked what the minor ailment service was. Not all not all young people feel confident in accessing these services at pharmacies. Many would prefer to see a GP or nurse as there is an assumption that pharmacists are not as qualified to give medical advice and guidance. Other issues raised include the privacy element of having to ask at a busy, confined counter to speak to a pharmacist in private, the lack of private rooms available and whether they were overheard.
The services most likely to be accessed by young people included medication, sexual health, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing and the minor ailment services. The least likely to be accessed are stopping smoking, alcohol awareness and drug addiction.
The report contains 5 recommendations about how best to publicise the range of pharmacy services to young people and persuade them to use them.