Northern Irish Health and Social Care board begin consultation on Pharmacy Needs Assessment benchmarking tool

The Northern Irish Health and Social Care Board has started the consultation process on a new Pharmacy Needs Assessment benchmarking tool.

The HSCB has developed a Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) model, hoped to improve decision making within the existing regulatory frameworks.

Joe Brogan, Head of Pharmacy and Medicines Management at HSCB, said: “Every day across Northern Ireland, an estimated 123,000 people use community pharmacy services. It is vitally important that we have a service that is able to continue to meet the needs of changing population demographics. We welcome views from all individuals and organisations in helping us inform the continued development of a community pharmacy service which is resilient and able to meet the needs of patients.”

To gain a better understanding of where local pharmacy services could improve, the HCSB met with user groups and discovered:

  • Amongst a range of valued services, the dispensing of medicines is the most frequently used service from community pharmacies.
  • Access to a pharmacy within a 15-minute travel time was considered reasonable.
  • Users reported being satisfied with Pharmacy opening hours
  • Various factors relating to access were noted as being important e.g., transport, distance and mobility.

The consultation is open to the public and will be carried out through a number of Zoom sessions, as well as an online public survey. The public consultation process will close on 30 November 2021.

The consultation report can be found online here.