NHS Isle of Wight has published a Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment which it will use to help plan future pharmacy services across the Island.
The Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment – or PNA – includes data on the existing provision of pharmaceutical services, the health of the Island and how the Primary Care Trust (PCT) meets residents’ health needs.
It summarises the pharmaceutical services provided by the Island’s network of community pharmacies and identifies areas of potential development that support local health care provision and help tackle health inequalities.
The PNA will be used by as a reference resource to:
help determine applications for new pharmacies
Highlight service needs in a locality
Serve as a guide to those commissioning enhanced services.
The 13-month assessment was completed in December 2010, and involved a major mapping exercise of pharmacy provision and an Islandwide consultation on existing services.
This included a major questionnaire inviting people to give their experiences of pharmacies. More than 800 survey forms were circulated and the document was also put on the NHS Isle of Wight website. It resulted in 536 responses within the time scale allocated.
One main reason for the PNA was to act to plug any identified gaps in the Isle of Wight’s pharmaceutical service provision and identify opportunities for service improvement. The PCT said the exercise has been very useful one, and has enabled us to act to implement change to enable improvements where these have been identified.
Director of Commissioning for the Island, Helen Shields said:
“We would like to thank everyone who contributed to this comprehensive study, particularly the 536 people who responded to our questionnaire.
“We will use the PNA as a basis for determining applications from pharmacy and appliance contractors to open new premises on the Isle of Wight.
“Providers of pharmaceutical services have a crucial role to play in improving health. They are often the first point of contact for people when they’re unwell, especially those who might otherwise struggle to access health services.
“Our community pharmacies are also contributing significantly to promoting healthy lifestyles through the local services they provide, such as screening for disease, supporting people with long-term conditions, improving access to care and tackling health emergencies.
“The overall availability of community pharmacy contractors on the Isle of Wight is good – and the services offered are generally very good. But there is always room for the further improvements. This PNA has reinforced our belief that they provide a good service to the public.”
The PNA was approved by the NHS Isle of Wight Board on 2nd March 2011. It is expected that the next full assessment will be carried out in three years time and be published in 2014.
At the time of the PNA, Isle of Wight had 30 community pharmacies, 20 of which were part of company chains, 10 were independently run and 3 of which are part of a small local group. Permission has been granted for the opening of another community pharmacy in East Cowes, and when this opens it will bring the total number of pharmacies on the Island to 31.
To see the full PNA, visit www.iow.nhs.uk/publications.
This article has been read 220 times!