The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) explains how local pharmacies are a key NHS asset on the health service frontline
Health service frontline
Pharmacy teams across the UK have worked hard on the NHS frontline during the coronavirus pandemic to keep their regular services going, while meeting vastly increased demand. They continued to treat minor illnesses, help people manage long-term medical conditions, supplied medicines and provided urgent care. They absorbed demand that would otherwise have fallen onto other parts of the healthcare system, including GPs and A&E.
You might be surprised at the range of support available on your doorstep in local pharmacies – from flu vaccinations and help to quit smoking, to sexual health services, NHS medicines consultations and healthy living advice. Community pharmacy is about people, (people like you), not just pills!
There is just so much that your local pharmacies provide. Please make the most of the services on offer. Support your local pharmacy so that they can stay open to support you and the generations to come.
Points of view
A recent opinion poll by the NPA reveals that:
74% of people want to see local pharmacies provide a wider range of NHS services, and see them as ‘neighbourhood health and wellbeing centres’.
89% of people believe pharmacies are playing an essential role in the COVID19 crisis.
The vast majority of respondents (8 in 10) say it is important to have face-to-face contact with their pharmacist.
The same survey shows that people think their local independent pharmacies are friendly, trustworthy and caring. We certainly hope this is your own experience!
Overall, the research shows widespread public support for pharmacists to play a greater role in the future of the NHS and a strong attachment to neighbourhood services and the human touch in healthcare.
There are approximately 14,000 pharmacies in the UK
Community pharmacies dispense more than 1 billion prescription items every year
95% of people can get to a pharmacy within 20 minutes
(by foot or by public transport)
51% visit their local pharmacy once a month or more
90% of pharmacies have consultation areas
For a typical pharmacy, more than 90% of activity and income is for NHS services.
Community pharmacists intervene on 6.6 million prescription items a year, liaising with doctors to ensure your safety
20 million more GP appointments a year for common ailments could instead be handled in pharmacies