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Consultation on local pharmacy services launches

Residents across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are being invited to have their say on pharmacy services in the region.

The three local authorities are consulting to ensure services are meeting the needs of local people and identify any gaps. Anyone who uses pharmacy services in the area is encouraged to comment by completing an online survey. The consultation launched this week and runs until 27 November.

Councillor Asher Craig, Cabinet Member for Communities, including public health, said: “We’re really keen to hear from local people about their thoughts on the pharmacy services available in their areas. We want to know what’s working well and if there are any gaps. This is your chance to tell us what you think and let us know if you have ideas about how things could be improved.”

Becky Pollard, director of public health at Bristol City Council, said “Pharmacies have a key role to play in keeping communities healthy and are an excellent source of professional advice.  The pharmacist is often the first point of contact for people concerned about their health, so it’s important that this advice is easily accessible.”

People’s views and opinions are vital in helping to ensure that good quality, cost-effective pharmacy services are delivered to residents. These views will help to develop a Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA), which will look at the need for pharmacy services in the area, the level and accessibility of pharmacy services and how these will be maintained and developed in the future. All Health and Wellbeing Boards have a statutory duty to publish a PNA every three years.

The PNA will be used by NHS England to make decisions when applications are received for new pharmaceutical services to open. The PNA will also be a useful source of information for the commissioning of other services that could be delivered by community pharmacies and other providers. Bristol City Council and the NHS Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group are the commissioners for these services.

The consultation is open from 4 September to 27 November. The survey takes around five minutes to complete and is available at the links below.

If you are a Bristol resident please visit www.bristol.gov.uk/pna
If you are a South Gloucestershire resident please visit www.southglos.gov.uk/consultation
If you are a North Somerset resident please visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/consultation