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The use of community pharmacies in Northwest England: an observational study

Mackridge, AJ and Stokes, EC and Gray, NJ (2016) The use of community pharmacies in Northwest England: an observational study. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice. ISSN 0961-7671

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Abstract

Background: There are few studies of community pharmacy footfall and activity in the existing literature, especially by direct observation. Pharmacies in England have the ability to provide a range of services and products since the change to their contractual framework in 2005. Objective: To describe the frequency and characteristics of interactions at the counter between pharmacy staff and customers to inform future policy development around pharmacy services. Method: A market researcher used a checklist to directly observe all interactions between pharmacy staff and customers taking place at the counter at specified days and times across the weekly opening hours of five pharmacies across the Northwest of England. Pharmacies were diverse in terms of ownership and location, across an area of significant deprivation. Key findings: Around three-quarters (76%) of all counter interactions observed were associated with prescriptions. Among adults aged <45 years, female: male customer visits were 2:1, changing to almost 1:1 for those aged 45 plus. Pain relief medication (74/307; 24%) and cold and flu remedies (53/307; 17%) were the most commonly purchased types of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. Approximately two-thirds (62.6%; n=2,078) of the interactions observed at the counter were between a customer and a Medicines Counter Assistant (MCA). Conclusions: Dispensing was the primary activity across the diverse range of pharmacies, but access to other pharmacy services and self-care activities were significant - especially at the weekend. Skill mix observation suggested that different pharmacies were deploying their pharmacists and other staff in different ways across similar patterns of activity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1115 Pharmacology And Pharmaceutical Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica
Divisions: Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences
Publisher: Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2016 12:35
Last Modified: 20 May 2017 23:50
DOI or Identification number: 10.1111/ijpp.12269
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3382

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