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Some patients have never heard of conditions under Pharmacy First


Some patients have never heard of conditions under Pharmacy First

Almost three-quarters of people said they would consider using Pharmacy First if it was provided in a private consultation room although some revealed they have not heard of all seven conditions it covers, according to a survey by Superdrug published on the eve of the service’s launch.

Of the 937 Superdrug customers who took part in the study, 73 per cent said they would probably use the service if a pharmacy offered them a private room to talk, 59 per cent would do so “if it was clear how qualified the pharmacists are to be able to help” and 63 per cent would use the service if they could get a prescription quicker.

Two-thirds of respondents said they would consider Pharmacy First if they were clear about services pharmacists were offering. Superdrug carried out the survey last month.

However, despite 85 per cent welcoming Pharmacy First’s introduction, Superdug said its survey showed education was needed around the scheme’s seven conditions; sinusitis, sore throat, acute otitis media, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women.

The study found 32 per cent and 23 per cent of respondents had not heard of impetigo and sinusitis respectively while 18 per cent and 15 per cent had not heard of shingles and urinary tract infection respectively.

Superdrug’s pharmacy superintendent Niamh McMillan said the multiple’s pharmacists “have undertaken additional training which covers all seven clinical conditions, clinical history-taking and practical assessment skills” ahead of Pharmacy First’s launch.

“To put patients at ease, there are private consultation rooms in every Superdrug pharmacy,” she said.

Company Chemists’ Association chief executive Malcolm Harrison said: “Pharmacy First will improve patient access to care for several common conditions. 10,000-plus community pharmacies are signed up to deliver the service which will also free up GP capacity at a critical time for the NHS.

“We are confident the sector will deliver the service successfully and make a strong case for its future expansion to cover further common conditions. An ambitious and fully funded Pharmacy First service could free up 30 million-plus GP appointments annually.”





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