'Reading has enough pharmacies'

Local people are happy with pharmacy provision, according to a major review.
Photo of pharmacy waiting area (Healthwatch England)

Reading people are happy with local pharmacy services, according to results of a public survey.

The survey was undertaken earlier this year to inform a review of whether our area has enough pharmacies within easy reach of people, providing the right type of services.

Public health officials have now concluded – based on feedback from people in Reading and other parts of Berkshire, population figures and other data – that there are no gaps in pharmacy services. However, they did acknowledge that there were workforce pressures on pharmacy staff, particularly as a result of the pandemic and said NHS England was aware of these issues.

Nearly 1,800 people across Berkshire responded to the public survey, 398 of whom lived in Reading.

Your views on local provision

  • Most Reading people (40%) used their local pharmacy once a month
  • Most (80%) chose their pharmacy due to its location, followed by satisfaction with services (64%)
  • 57% could get to their pharmacy within 5-20 minutes, 39% said it took less than 5 minutes
  • Most (59%) walked to their pharmacy compared with 34% who drove
  • Most people (59%) preferred to visit their pharmacy on a weekday, 38% didn’t mind weekday or weekend
  • Most (62%) preferred to visit 9am-12 midday; only 19% wanted to visit 5-9pm

Source: Public survey for Berkshire Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment 2022-25

Of the 398 respondents in Reading, 95 left a comment on what other services they would like to see in their pharmacy. The top three were:

• Blood tests and blood pressure checks

• Vaccinations, such as Covid, flu and travel vaccines

• Delivery service.

The review - formally known as the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment 2022-25 was discussed and approved at the Reading Health and Wellbeing Board for approval 15 July.

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