According to an online survey carried out for the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) in October, a third of people (32%) are unaware that pharmacies offer flu jabs and four in ten (39%) don’t know pharmacies have consultation areas from which a range of NHS services are provided.
The results have being released ahead of the NPA’s Ask Your Pharmacist public awareness campaign, which runs from 1-8 November.
Only half the adult population (48%) know you can get advice on managing your weight at pharmacies, but 66% know that blood pressure monitoring is offered in some pharmacies.
According to the survey, many people want pharmacies to play a greater role supporting people with mental health and in care homes (39% and 40% respectively).
Also 45% see their local pharmacy as the “first port of call” for minor illnesses, compared to 27% saying their GP, 17% NHS111 and 6% A&E.
NPA board member Reena Barai, who will be taking part in radio broadcasts for Ask Your Pharmacist Week, said today:
“These figures show how much further we need to go to get the message across about the range of services on offer in community pharmacies. Campaigns like Ask Your Pharmacist Week help ensure that people don’t miss out on the support available, which includes the several new NHS services coming on line in 2021.”
In spite of the awareness figures on flu vaccinations, the number of people protected by pharmacies grew nearly fourfold between 2015/16 to 2020/21, according to figures recently released by the NHS Business Services Authority.
Campaign resources for AYP Week are available at www.npa.co.uk/ayp2021
The campaign is supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement.