Feedback from the community influences future plans for pharmacy services in Islington
Healthwatch Islington's recent research suggests that many local residents aren't aware of the wide range of services offered by pharmacies.
- Islington Patient Group told Healthwatch that pharmacies should be developed so that they could offer more services: lifestyle advice to aid health and well-being; blood pressure and diabetes checks; health checks; weight management; stop-smoking advice and travel vaccines. In fact, many pharmacies offer those services already.
- Feedback from black and minority ethnic residents whose first language wasn't English again revealed a lack of awareness about the range of services on offer (full report here). People also said it was difficult to find out which particular services were offered at each pharmacy.
- Finally, our pharmacy survey results indicated that while some services, such as help to stop smoking, were reasonably well known, others like the weight management and healthy living service needed more promotion. There was also evidence that big national campaigns promoting pharmacy use were not reaching the right audiences, and more local promotion via GP practices, and within pharmacies themselves, was needed.
This feedback has helped to influence future plans for pharmacy (the Islington Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment). Specifically, three areas for improvement have been identified:
- Increasing people's awareness of available pharmacy services
- Increasing people's awareness of longer opening hours
- Maximising the potential of community pharmacies to provide key public health programmes
This means that when commissioners decide how the budget for pharmacy provision will be spent, they will make sure that they address these priorities. Access to additional pharmacy services should improve as a result.