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How’s your local pharmacy doing?

Health professionals need to know whether local pharmacies and dispensing GP practices are meeting the needs of Herefordshire residents so that they can make sure future needs will be met.

Herefordshire has 26 community pharmacies and 10 dispensing practices that provide pharmaceutical services.  In a typical year, more than 2.5 million prescriptions are dispensed by NHS Herefordshire pharmacies and dispensing doctors and the numbers continue to rise. 

To cope with demand, many pharmacies have extended their opening hours to seven days a week.  They also provide lots of advice and support for people with minor injuries or health concerns that don’t require a GP or visit to hospital.

NHS Herefordshire is checking that what we have in Herefordshire meets patients’ needs and as a result, is asking residents to answer a few simple questions.  These include finding out about which pharmacies people use and what sort of services they use.  The questions also ask about people’s knowledge of what’s available at pharmacies such as stop smoking services, and confidential consultations. 

Alison Rogers, governance pharmacist for NHS Herefordshire, said “Community pharmacies are always extending their services to meet patients’ health needs and it is important that we understand what these needs are and how they may change over time so that we can best use our financial resources for pharmaceutical services.

“We are required to consult the public every two years to make sure that all residents have access to pharmaceutical services, wherever they live, and this consultation will help us see if what we have at the moment is sufficient.”

An online survey is available on www.herefordshire.gov.uk/PNA or people can ring 01432 363964 for a copy to send in the post.  The deadline for responses is 30 November 2012.