Feedback sought on improving access to pharmaceutical services across West Sussex

Feedback on improving access to pharmaceutical services across West Sussex is being sought from patients.

Prescriptions waiting to be collected (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Prescriptions waiting to be collected (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board has published the draft West Sussex Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) report, which aims to better understand people’s use of pharmaceutical services.

This includes services such as getting prescriptions and health advice from local pharmacies and dispensing doctors.

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The report examines whether the provision of pharmaceutical services meets the current and future needs of people in West Sussex and identifies any potential gaps to service delivery.

The PNA is used by NHS England, local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups to inform decisions about applications for new, or changes to existing, pharmaceutical services and the commissioning of NHS-funded services that can be provided by local community pharmacies.

Bob Lanzer, cabinet member for public health and wellbeing and chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “The Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment is an important tool in developing pharmaceutical services in West Sussex. We would encourage our residents and partners to feedback on the draft report to help important services such as prescriptions, and health advice from pharmacies and dispensing doctors.

“I would like to thank all those that have currently taken part in the consultation. Their feedback is greatly valued and along with a range of other information services, helps to shape the document.”

The report found that on average, there are around 18 community pharmacies in West Sussex per 100,000 residents, which is lower than the England rate (21 per 100,000) but higher than the South East region rate (17 per 100,000).

But it concluded: “The PNA has not identified any gaps in current service provision of necessary services within the West Sussex area. The current coverage is adequate to provide the necessary services such as essential/dispensing services and advanced services.

“After reviewing the location and scale of proposed housing development it is anticipated that the current pharmaceutical providers will be sufficient to meet the local needs for the lifetime of this PNA (October 2022 to October 2025).”

The draft PNA and its supporting documents are available on the county council’s website. Comments can be submitted until Sunday August 28.

For anyone who doesn’t have internet access, the PNA can be viewed online for free at any West Sussex library.