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[DDA News] GP dispensaries support rural access


GP dispensaries support rural access

Rutland PNA supports rural-proofed services

By Ailsa Colquhoun

14th of October 2014

The use of GP dispensing in rural areas helps to moderate rural access issues, Rutland health and wellbeing board has stated in its draft Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment. New services or changes to services should ensure that the very rural nature of the area is taken into consideration.

The PNA, which is now out for consultation until December 2, details the area's rural designation. It also finds that the area has three dispensing practices and seven pharmacies, including one internet pharmacy. Looking at its future pharmaceutical needs, the PNA forecasts that by 2037 the population of Rutland is projected to grow to 40,600 people, which would require eight dispensing contractors to maintain the national average level of 2.02 per 10,000 population. The HWB therefore concludes that current levels of pharmaceutical service provision will meet the needs of the future population.

However, a full evidence review might suggest the need for the following services to be commissioned, says the PNA.

  • Minor ailments services
  • Anti-coagulation services
  • Home blood pressure monitoring and supporting patient access to tele-health
  • Support for inhaler technique
  • NHS Health Checks
  • Targeted "not dispense scheme" to reduce medicines waste
  • Integration with multi-disciplinary teams to support proactive/ integrated care
  • Support across the primary and secondary care interface to promote referrals from secondary care and increase uptake of NMS and MURs for eligible patients post discharge.

In the PNA engagement activity, 58% of responders reported that they access the pharmacy that they did because it was close to their GP surgery. Some 23% of responders stated the collected their long term conditions medicines from the pharmacy and 63% from the GP dispensary.

The most important factors for choosing a pharmacy were cited as: close to home (60%), close to GP surgery (58%), friendly staff (51%), quick service (46%), trust in the pharmacist (36%). Other findings were:

  • 92% of responders accessed their pharmacy for prescribed medications, 21% for advice and 27% for over the counter medications.
  • 6% of responders reported that they had experienced difficulty accessing a pharmacy when they needed one. The difficulties occurred outside of normal opening hours and were linked to rural access issues.

A public meeting to discuss the draft PNA will take place on Tuesday 28th October 2014 at 6pm at Voluntary Action Rutland, Lands End Way, Oakham LE15 6RB.