Pharmacy services in North Tyneside are found to be good but improvements could be made
Healthwatch North Tyneside has published two new reports about pharmacy services in North Tyneside. People’s views were generally very positive but there are some recommendations on how services should be delivered and what could be improved.
Healthwatch has talked to hundreds of local residents to find out what services they would like from their local pharmacy, what services they find useful and what could be made better.
Healthwatch North Tyneside was asked by North Tyneside’s Health and Wellbeing Board to gather evidence of experiences of pharmacy services in North Tyneside, to inform the review of the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment. This is produced every three years based on how local people say they use pharmacy services and how they would like to use them in the future.
Healthwatch heard from 346 local residents and provided a detailed summary of the findings, which will be used to prepare the draft Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment 2022, which will determine how services are delivered in the future.
In addition, Healthwatch North Tyneside put together their own report based on what people had told them about pharmacies and medication over the last two years and made further recommendations on how to improve services.
Over 400 people shared their views through specific surveys and consultations, and information gathered through Healthwatch’s day to day work. This second report summarises the general feedback and covers issues wider than the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment report. The report’s recommendations will be considered by the new Integrated Care System structures when responsibility for pharmacy commissioning moves from NHS England.
The report makes the following recommendations:
· Access to pharmacies could be improved, particularly for those working office hours, by ensuring a spread of pharmacies across the borough provide extended opening hours and lunchtime services – and publicising this so people are aware.
· There needs to be wider promotion of the range of services offered by pharmacies.
· Staff should be aware of people’s concerns over privacy, especially at busy times, and offer use of a consulting room.
· Where possible, synchronisation of prescriptions for people with multiple items on different repeats or for those collecting for people they care for.
· Monitoring of medication/stock shortages and setting up processes to facilitate access to alternatives.
· Ensuring busy times are managed effectively and seating is available. Consider fast track queue for prescription collection, query box for later response, etc.
· Consider suggestions for provision of additional services including dressing changes, trials of health monitoring devices and disability equipment, C-Card for young people to access free condoms, B12 injections, mental health support, and free dosette service.
· Consider supporting local pharmacies to offer a free delivery service.
Read the Pharmacy Services reports at https://healthwatchnorthtyneside.co.uk/report/pharmacy-services-in-north-tyneside/
With thanks to Healthwatch North Tyneside