As part of Healthwatch West Berkshire’s (HWWB) statutory powers to ‘Enter & View’ all services funded by the NHS or via public funds, HWWB visited three pharmacies across West Berkshire to get the views of their customers and witness them in day to day operation. Please click here to read the full ‘Enter & View’ Report on Boots in Newbury and Thatcham, and Graham Jones Pharmacy in Lambourn.
The report has been sent to the Newbury Clinical Commissioning Group(CCG), Healthwatch England, Pharmacy Thames Valley and other significant professional bodies and “shows broadly speaking the residents of West Berkshire are getting a good service from their pharmacies”, explains Andrew Sharp, Chief Officer HWWB. “Although it is apparent there is pressure in the system due to demand and we want to hear from the public if issues arise in relation to pharmacy services locally.”
Carol Trower, MRPharmS, Chief Executive Officer, Pharmacy Thames Valley said “Pharmacy Thames Valley is always happy to work with Healthwatch West Berkshire and welcomes these Enter and View visits as an opportunity to share good practice and identify possible areas for improvement. We are pleased that the recent visits were generally positive and that the report acknowledges the good work being done in local pharmacies.”
Graham Jones (Councillor, West Berkshire Council Leader & ex Chair of West Berkshire’s Health and Well Being Board) of the Lambourn Pharmacy expressed the following in his response to this report saying, “We are pleased with the general findings of the report”. He also said, “In Lambourn we are doing a pilot with Alphega Pharmacy (a support organisation for independent pharmacy) and Lambourn School based around “Growing Healthy” to identify children where weight is a problem and working with the family for long term benefits. We also host the solutions 4 health smoking cessation service. This “outreach” community health work is important to the future of community pharmacy.”
Healthwatch West Berkshire has been made aware that there are sometimes issues with the supply of medicines for repeat prescriptions locally, that appears to be a problem with national supply rather than an issue with local pharmacies. “We have raised the issue of the supply of some fairly standard medicines with the local CCG and NHS England but are still awaiting a response” reports Andrew Sharp. “It seems that the local pharmacies expect medicines to be delivered on a certain date from suppliers and tell their patients to collect them shortly after.
“However, worryingly, the deliveries are not being completely fulfilled, which causes patients an added delay to them receiving the regular medicines they need in time. While we know the local pharmacies do all they can to try to alleviate any problems for patients when medicines are delayed, we hope NHS England and the CCG will address the matter quickly and appropriately. We are monitoring this issue of supply, but if anyone has been put in this situation locally please do contact us on 01635 886 210 or via our website www.HealthwatchWestBerks.org.uk”