September/November: What services do you access at a pharmacy?
Despite the ever-changing nature of the high street, one main stay is your local pharmacy. But, with the pandemic changing the way that everyone accesses healthcare, we wanted to find out whether you have started to treat your pharmacy differently. Have you visited your pharmacy more over the last few years? What are your thoughts on digital pharmacies? Have you always been a loyal visitor of your pharmacy?
That's why we asked our members to share their thoughts in our recent survey all about Pharmacies. This is what you told us:
- 65% use pharmacy services at least once a month with a further 16% using these services every 2 months.
- The majority (80%) prefer visiting your local 'bricks and mortar' pharmacy rather than using online pharmacies.
- 20% choose to use online pharmacies instead. 38% of these people said that this decision has been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 70% said they have previously sought medical advice from a Pharmacist before visiting a GP. A promising 83% rated the advice given as either 'good' or 'excellent', and when asked whether they would be likely to seek medical advice from a Pharmacist again in the future, 93% said yes!
- 62% said they would be very keen and likely to take of the offer of getting a free blood pressure check at their local chemist.
- 91% agree that community pharmacies are essential in offering health support within local communities.
- With many pharmacies across the UK introducing remote patient consultations via video or phone, we asked our members whether they would be happy with a remote consultation as opposed to face-to-face contact with a Pharmacist. 59% said they would be happy with a remote consultation.
- However, 54% said that having face-to-face contact with a Pharmacist when ordering/collecting a prescription is either 'extremely' or 'very' important. 21% don't feel that face-to-face contact is too important.
- 89% believe that having the ability to order prescriptions online and have it delivered is really important.
- During the pandemic, pharmacies have been acting in a similar way to a triage system for patients who need to see a GP but unable to do so. Community pharmacies have remained open during this time and have been a vital service, offering advice and treatment to patients. To help with the increasing demand on the NHS, it is likely that there will be a permanent shift in this direction, with it becoming more likely for Pharmacists to provide primary care. 72% voted that this would be either 'extremely' or 'very' valuable.
- Amazon have recently launched an online pharmacy into the US healthcare market allowing customers to order repeat prescriptions that get delivered to their door in a matter of days. At the beginning of 2021, Amazon secured the “Amazon Pharmacy” trademark in the UK, suggesting a likelihood for the Amazon Pharmacy services to also be introduced to the UK market at some point in the future. We asked our members how likely they would be to use "Amazon Pharmacy" - 46% said that they would be unlikely to use it, with a further 27% expressing some indifference to the idea.
If you're interested in a detailed analysis of the results for these surveys please contact us.