Report shows that pharmacies are key to reduce demand on NHS in Telford and Wrekin
Telford & Wrekin Council presented a report on pharmacy service needs to the borough's Health and Wellbeing Board on 23 March.
The pharmaceutical Needs Assessment report argues that pharmacies are an essential service that prevents increased demand for NHS services and helps to reduce health inequalities.
The report states that demand on the NHS could be further reduced by extending pharmacy opening times, putting pharmacies at the heart of provision for preventative services and increasing awareness of pharmacy support with the public.
Care for minor ailments and preventative health measures such as vaccinations and stop-smoking support are services that can be undertaken effectively in pharmacies.
The council compiled the report by conducting surveys with pharmacists and the public; and using data from the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, which states Telford and Wrekin's future health and care needs.
Liz Noakes, Telford and Wrekin's director of public health, said:
"The location of pharmacies as the heart of local communities makes them a vital primary care service.
"This is especially true given that they provide patient care, services, support and advice which people have told us they value.
"As such, community pharmacies should play an increased role in the transformation of the NHS to meet the needs of Telford and Wrekin's ageing population and the increasing number of people living with long-term health conditions.
"Through the health and wellbeing board, we must ensure that community pharmacies are in our strategic plans to tackle the future health and care needs of people in Telford and Wrekin.
"Our report also suggests that some parts of the borough such as South Telford has less provision on Saturday evenings and Sundays than other parts of the borough .
"We know that pharmacies are very effective in getting people the support they need when they need it - but more needs to be done to raise awareness of the support pharmacies provide."