Pharmacy services a ‘lifeline’ for people with lung conditions
A survey of people living with lung disease found that 95% of respondents thought the support they accessed in community pharmacy was valuable, essential or something that they ‘could not live without’.
Over 2,100 people with lung disease were surveyed on their use of community pharmacies by the Taskforce for Lung Health, of which PSNC is a member. Among those taking part, three-quarters (75%) of those who use community pharmacies said that they value pharmacies services because they are close to home and just over a quarter (26%) of respondents stated that they found their local pharmacy easier to access than making a GP appointment. Other reasons for valuing pharmacies were their convenient opening hours and the fact that appointments were not needed to see a pharmacist.
However, with 1 in 4 people (23%) not aware of the full range of services available in community pharmacies, the Taskforce suggests that it is important to encourage more people with lung conditions to make better use of community pharmacies and expand the services they offer to help ease the pressures faced by the NHS. PSNC supports this ambition and has previously called for inhaler technique checks to become a nationally commissioned pharmacy service.
Commenting on the findings of the survey, Alison Cook, Chair of the Taskforce for Lung Health, said:
“People with lung conditions have told us loud and clear that community pharmacies act as a lifeline for their care, but there is still work to do in making the wide variety of services available known to everyone.
Investing in the services offered by community pharmacies would better meet the needs of people with lung disease and reduce the pressures faced by the NHS during the pandemic and beyond. It is now vital that everyone is made aware of the variety of services pharmacies offer and that further integration of local pharmacies into the NHS becomes a priority.”
More information about these findings and the work of the Taskforce can be found on its website.