We spoke to 102 individuals at a variety of settings and an additional number made comments via a web forum. In total 698 comments were recorded against all questions. The key findings are as follows:
- Of those spoken to in a pharmacy setting most were there to collect medicines.
- The majority of people knew that the pharmacy dispensed prescription medicines but only 15% were able to comment about additional services such as blood pressure, smoking cessation and medication advice.
- It was suggested that further information about what is available would be beneficial.
- Only 5% were aware of additional services ‘Pharmacy First’ however experiences were very positive and deemed as beneficial.
- 48% said they would use (if aware of) a scheme whereby the pharmacist could prescribe and dispense medicines independent of the GP (minor aliments scheme)
- Many people commented on their positive experiences and relationships with their pharmacist.
- Patients felt well informed by the pharmacists and cited that a 12month check in with them would be beneficial.
- 5 patients reported difficulties caused by having to return to collect outstanding medication.
- Most patients were aware of the electronic transfer of prescriptions and the service was seen as simple unless they were making changes to their medications.
- Most said they did not stock pile medications.
- Individuals feel that their local pharmacy provides a responsive service, very much focused around the dispensing of medicines.
- Overall care is enhanced by the supportive relationship and additional information provided by the community pharmacist.
- The efficiency of prescription services is valued as is the prescription service.
- People value the ease of access to pharmacy services
- Little is known about the free services on offer and individuals said they would benefit from further information or advertising about what’s available.