Agenda item

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment update.

To receive an update on Pharmacy and the ‘Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment’.



Rob Nelder (Consultant, Public Health), David Bearman (Director of Strategy, Community Pharmacy Devon) and Sue Taylor (Chief Officer, Community Pharmacy Devon), delivered the Plymouth Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) update to the Board, and discussed-


a)     The PNA was a comprehensive assessment of the current and future pharmaceutical needs of the population. The H&WB had a legal duty to ensure the production of a PNA for Plymouth;


b)    The last PNA had been published in September 2022, and was not set for renewal until September 2025;


c)     The PNA was used by NHS Devon to inform decision making around pharmacy provision, location, needs/gaps, and the commissioning of locally enhanced services;


d)    There were seven pharmacies in Plymouth which had closed, or announced intention to close, since the production of the last PNA. Superdrug had also recently announced the intention to consolidate two pharmacies into one site in the City Centre;


e)     Supplementary Statements ‘of fact’ could be issued to the PNA when changes to pharmacy provision occurred;


f)      Due to the level of pharmacy closures in Plymouth, it was considered that there was adequate need to re-assess pharmacy provision through the production of a new PNA;


g)     The production of a PNA took around 9-12 months to produce, and included a 60 day consultation. It was recommended that work should begin now on the production of a new PNA, with a target of completion by March 2025;


h)    A separate session with NHS Devon would be arranged for the H&WB to input into the wider NHS Devon Pharmacy Strategy;


i)      Nationally, it was anticipated that there would be further pharmacy closures;


j)      There were opportunities to maximise existing pharmacy services to reduce demand in the wider health system, as well as the introduction of new services such as ‘Pharmacy First’, which would enable pharmacies to offer clinical pathway consultations for seven conditions;


k)     Pharmacies would also begin the contraceptive service and prescribing Pathfinder programme, allowing pharmacists to prescribe medications. Medicine supply was being centralised and automated to enhance efficiency and supply.


Following questions, the Committee discussed-


l)      Pharmacist training, workforce recruitment and retention;


m)   Out of hours provision for pharmacy services;


n)    Implications of a new PNA, and the likelihood of identifying gaps in provision across the city;


o)    The unprecedented level of change in pharmacy provision experienced during this PNA in comparison to  previous iterations;


p)    Proactive measures and support offered to pharmacies to prevent them from withdrawing services/ closing practices;


q)    The importance of pharmacies for community access, early intervention and prevention;


r)     The need to monitor the location of pharmacy closures and provision, to ensure inequalities were addressed;


s)     Pharmacy consultation and engagement events with the public, key stakeholders and providers.


The Board agreed-


1.     To record their concern at the rate of Pharmacy closures in Plymouth (approximately 20%), and to engage with NHS Devon ICB’s resilience planning;


2.     To accept the proposal to ‘go early’ with the publication of the next PNA (no later than March 2025, as opposed to September 2025);


3.     To support and engage in the development (in the coming months) of the NHS Devon ICB Pharmacy Strategy (which in turn, would inform the 2025 version of the Plymouth PNA).

Supporting documents: