People have generally felt satisfied with pharmacies during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Healthwatch, but there are still areas for improvement, including raising awareness of the different services that pharmacies provide.
Healthwatch, which monitors health service performance from the public's perspective, says people particularly praised:
A report from Healthwatch Manchester shows that pharmacies are providing an essential service for disadvantaged communities. An investigation of Manchester’s Chinese, D/deaf and south Asian communities found that pharmacies were the most used health service during the pandemic.
However, Healthwatch flagged up concerns – not all of which are within a pharmacies direct control - including:
Healthwatch concludes that there needs to be a better understanding of what pharmacists can do. “The main reason people use pharmacies is to get their medication. But not everyone understands the full range of services and support pharmacies offer, such as preventative advice and treatment for minor ailments.”
Some of the reasons people gave for not seeking support from their pharmacist first was:
Healthwatch was established under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 to understand the needs, experiences and concerns of people who use health and social care services.