Last autumn we asked people to tell us about how they use community pharmacies in North East Lincolnshire. Because of the ongoing pandemic, we also wanted to know if COVID restrictions and concerns about catching COVID had changed the way people were using pharmacy services.
More than 500 people took part and helped us to understand a lot about what people use pharmacies for, how they choose the pharmacies they use, when they visit and what the experience is like for them.
The North East Lincolnshire Health and Wellbeing Board has used these results, along with a wide range of other information, to write a document called the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA). This is still a draft document and we would like people to comment on it before it is published.
Pharmacies offer more services than just dispensing prescriptions. In our survey, while 94% of people told us they use a pharmacy to collect a prescription, 46% also buy medicines, 35% get help and advice, and 25% dispose of unwanted or out of date medicines. Of those who said they use it for something else, most said it was for the seasonal flu vaccine.
Documents like this are used by the NHS to help decide which NHS funded services need to be provided by local community pharmacies. The PNA will help make sure current services meet the needs of people living in the borough and what any future needs there might be. It will help NHS England make decisions whether to approve applications to open new pharmacies.
We want to make sure the draft document makes sense to people and reflects their experiences of using pharmacies in North East Lincolnshire.
We would also like professionals who either work in pharmacies or work with patients, service users and members of the public to comment on the draft PNA.
Cllr Stan Shreeve, Portfolio Holder for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Social Care, urged people to read and comment on the document saying: “A lot of you took part in the initial survey and helped us to understand more about how people are using their local community pharmacies. We now want to make sure the document reflects your experiences so it can be used to ensure local people are at the centre of future decisions about pharmacy services.”
How can I have my say?
To read the draft PNA and respond to the survey questions, please visit https://tell-us.questionpro.eu/draft-pna-questionnaire
If you need to speak to someone to give your views or ask any questions, or you need a copy of the survey posting to you, you can ring the Engagement Team on (01472) 324380 or send an email to [email protected]. We can supply the survey in large print.
Using the findings from this consultation and from other feedback, a final PNA for North East Lincolnshire will be published 1 October 2022.
The survey will be open from 12 July until 11 September.