PSNC Pharmacy Advice Audit

Published on: 23rd June 2020 | Updated on: 26th June 2022

2022 Audit

Between 31st January and 11th March 2022, 4,139 community pharmacies in England took part in PSNC’s third Pharmacy Advice Audit, the findings of which clearly demonstrate that patients and the public are now more reliant than ever before on pharmacies for healthcare advice.

The pharmacies recorded all consultations over one day (or for however long it took them to reach 20  consultations). The participating pharmacy teams were asked to note why the patient had come to the pharmacy, what the consultation was for, the amount of time spent on the consultation, the outcome of the consultation, the severity of the presenting complaint, and where the patient would have gone if pharmacy advice had not been readily available.

Key findings include:

  • More than 1.2 million informal consultations a week – or 65 million a year – are taking place in England’s community pharmacies. This is a notable increase on the findings of last year’s audit.
  • Every week, pharmacies help over 865,000 patients who are presenting at the pharmacy for clinical advice about symptoms and over 251,000 patients who have questions about an existing medical condition.
  • The average staff time per consultation was nearly six minutes.
  • Nearly a quarter of a million consultations are carried out in community pharmacy every week because patients are unable to access their preferred part of the healthcare system.
  • Almost half of patients reported that if they did not have easy access to a pharmacy, they would have visited their GP. As such, we can estimate that pharmacy advice will save an incredible 32.2 million GP appointments over the course of the year.
  • Over half a million consultations a week occur in each community pharmacy for clinical advice alone, where no sale of a medicine is made.
  • Community pharmacists identify 2.5 million patients a year needing urgent assessment.
  • More and more people are now using pharmacy as their first port of call: 80.3% of the consultations recorded in the 2022 audit were the result of self-referrals, compared to 76% in 2021.

Resources

PSNC Pharmacy Advice Audit 2022: Full Report

PSNC Pharmacy Advice Audit 2022: A summary of findings

Social media tiles: (click to enlarge, right-click to save image)

 


2021 Pharmacy Advice Audit

Summary and key findings

Early in 2021, 5,830 community pharmacies took part in a PSNC audit to try to quantify the number of informal patient consultations happening in their pharmacy. The pharmacies carried out the audit between 25th January and 12th February 2021 and between them they recorded data on 114,898 patient consultations. The audit enabled PSNC to measure the reliance that the public has had on pharmacies through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the additional pressure that this has put on pharmacy teams.

  • On average, pharmacies undertake 17 consultation per day / 1,125,540 consultations per week / more than 58 million per year.
  • Each week, just under 130,000 informal referrals from General Practice and NHS11 are received into pharmacy.
  • Every week pharmacies provided advice to over 730,000 people (nearly 38 million people per year) seeking advice for symptoms.
  • Every week pharmacies provide advice to over 263,000 people (13.6 million people per year) seeking advice about an existing medical condition.
  • On average, each consultation took just over 5 minutes – this means 90 minutes per day are spent providing these clinical consultations.
  • Almost a quarter (24%) of the pharmacy consultations also included advice and support related to COVID-19 and these consultations took on average 20% longer than a non-COVID-19 consultation.
  • If the community pharmacy had not been there, 50% of patients reported they would have visited their GP, resulting in an additional 74 appointments in each GP practice each week in England.
  • An additional 70,000 people (3.3. million people per year) would go to A&E or an NHS walk-in centre every week if they could not get advice from their pharmacy.

Resources on the 2021 audit findings

PSNC Pharmacy Advice Audit 2021: Full Report
A complete report containing all results and analysis of the data gathered as part of the 2021 Pharmacy Advice Audit.

PSNC Pharmacy Advice Audit 2021: A summary of findings
A summary of the findings from the 2021 Pharmacy Advice Audit.

Infographic aimed at MPs: Community Pharmacy Consultations Update
A one-page infographic featuring the key statistics from PSNC’s 2021 Pharmacy Advice Audit findings.

Social media tiles: (click to enlarge, right-click to save image)

  

 


Summer 2020 Pharmacy Advice Audit

Summary and key findings

In June and July 2020 more than 9,400 pharmacies in England took part in PSNC’s audit of the informal patient consultations that happen in community pharmacy – these are consultations happening outside the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) or any other commissioned services.

Over a single day, pharmacies recorded a total of 198,043 patient consultations, which revealed that:

  • The average staff time per consultation was just over 5 minutes;
  • Around 10% (approx. 20,900) of the consultations were initiated with the non-pharmacist and referred to the pharmacist – this meant for longer total consultation times;
  • Consultations initiated with a pharmacist took an average of 5.3 minutes pharmacist time;
  • Consultations initiated with a non-pharmacist took an average of 4 minutes, with 19% referred to the community pharmacist where on average a further 4.3 minutes was spent with the patient; and
  • Around 75 minutes per day, per pharmacy, is spent providing these consultations.

Resources on the 2020 audit findings

PSNC Pharmacy Advice Audit 2020 – Full Report
A complete report containing all results and analysis of the data gathered as part of the Pharmacy Advice Audit.

PSNC Briefing 027/20: Summary of the findings from PSNC’s Pharmacy Advice Audit
A summary of the findings from the Pharmacy Advice Audit run by PSNC in June and July 2020.

Clinical Advice in Community Pharmacies: Findings from a national audit
A PowerPoint presentation making use of the findings from the PSNC Pharmacy Advice Audit to showcase community pharmacy’s value to key stakeholders.

Infographic
A one-page infographic featuring the key statistics from the audit findings. Three version are available to download and use.

Image Infographic: Community Pharmacy Consultations (JPG)

A4 Digital Infographic: Community Pharmacy Consultations

A4 Print Infographic: Community Pharmacy Consultations

Social media tiles (click to enlarge, right-click to save image)

For more information on this topic please email info@psnc.org.uk

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