Agenda item

Healthwatch 'Patient Experiences of Pharmacy Services' Report

To consider the Healthwatch ‘Patient Experiences of Pharmacy Services’ report.


Tony Gravett (Healthwatch) delivered the Healthwatch 'Patient Experiences of Pharmacy Services' report to the Board, and discussed-


a)     Earlier in the year, Healthwatch England had identified national Pharmacy concerns relating to shortages of medication, repeat prescription delays, staff shortages, and pharmacy closures. Healthwatch Devon, Plymouth and Torbay had now undertaken a local survey between 1 April 2022 – 30 September 2023;


b)    109 of 141 (77%) experiences collated by Healthwatch were negative, with 75% of feedback relating to pharmacies in Plymouth, particularly Lloyds pharmacy at Derriford Hospital;


c)     Common themes of feedback were: medication, staff, administration and access to services;


d)    While Boots had closed several pharmacies, all staff had been re-deployed to other locations, and opening hours had been extended;


e)      Healthwatch had submitted the feedback report and subsequent recommendations to NHS Devon for consideration in the development of a pharmacy strategy for Devon.


In response to questions, the Board discussed-


f)      Mobility and accessibility issues for patients using the pharmacy at Derriford;


g)     The implications of pharmacy closures and reduced hours of opening;


h)    Limited resourcing for pharmacy provision, with ‘flat cash’ contracts for five years, despite inflationary pressures;


i)      The hard work and dedication of staff, facing a challenging and high demand environment;


j)      The benefits of pharmacy services for integrated working, early intervention, and enhanced system capacity;


k)     Significant financial and demand pressures for pharmacies in the South West;


l)      Diagnostic/clinical advice and qualifications held by pharmacy staff.


The Board agreed to note the report.

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