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Utilizing pharmacist potential to improve community pharmacy practice in the United Kingdom

  • At: PPR SIG 2021 (2021)
  • Type: Digital
  • By: ALHARBI, Suha (Division of Pharmacy Practice and Policy, School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK., United Kingdom)
  • Co-author(s): Suha Alharbi, Tracey Thornley, Claire Anderson
  • Abstract:

    Introduction

    Across the United Kingdom, policymakers have recognised the potential of community pharmacists (CPs) which could help in reducing the pressure on the other part of the NHS. However, there is a need to investigate the public’s attitudes to CP in order to deliver tailored services based on their needs.

    Objectives

    This study aimed to explore public attitudes toward expanding roles of CP.

    Methods

    A mixed-methods approach was adopted utilising validated online surveys, and telephone interviews. This research was undertaken between October 2019 and mid-March 2020 (before and during COVID-19). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. Ethical approval was obtained for this study.

    Results

    208 responses were available for analysis with a response rate of 20%. The majority of the participants, 82% had visited a community pharmacy at least once within the last six months. However, awareness about the current services delivered in community pharmacy were varied. Regarding expanding roles of the CP, the participants were positive. The services the public wished to see were: using of pharmacist independent prescribers (69 %), seeking advice to improve self-care (78%), and using screening services (i.e., illness detection services) was 81%. Twelve participated in semi-structured telephone interviews. Overall, the participants were positive about expanding roles of the CP, and four main themes emerged from the interviews: 1) need, 2) Advantages of using the pharmacy, and 3) facilitators which include pharmacy location, service advertisement, endorsement from other healthcare provider and good relationship with the pharmacist and finally 4) barriers which include lack of awareness, community pharmacy image, workload, lack of privacy.

    Conclusion

    Overall, the participants in this study have a positive attitude towards the changing roles of the CP. However, the participants perceived several barriers, which should be considered to improve service utilisation.

Last update 4 October 2019

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