Published on Apr 19, 2018
(Footage courtesy of That’s North Yorkshire, Freeview Channel 7)
Patients in Scarborough and Ryedale are being encouraged to use their local high street community pharmacy for prescriptions, health advice and over-the-counter medicines, as online pharmacy companies step up their efforts to promote their “repeat prescriptions” service and attract new customers.
Community Pharmacy North Yorkshire which represents many high street pharmacies, says residents who use an online pharmacy company need to be aware that they will not get access to the same range of services and risk missing out on important face-to-face help and support.
Jack Davies, Chief Executive Officer of Community Pharmacy North Yorkshire, said: “High street community pharmacies do so much more than just provide prescription medication and over-the-counter remedies – they provide a range of other valuable services that just can’t be replicated by an online provider and offer a personal touch that can make a huge difference to a patient’s health and wellbeing. Online pharmacy is an option, but people need to be aware of their limitations.”
Community Pharmacy North Yorkshire has produced a list of services and benefits offered by a community pharmacist that it says, realistically, internet-based pharmacy companies may not, or will not be able to provide. They include:
- Dispense liquid medicines
- Dispense refrigerated lines such as insulin and vaccines
- Dispense controlled drugs
- Dispense drugs required for immediate use
- Face-to-Face contact for discussion or review about current medicines (Medicines Use Review)
- Personal Face to Face Minor Ailments advice
- Personal Face-to-Face contact for discussion about new medicines (New Medicine Service)
- Within walking distance from your home
- Run targeted local health campaigns
- Is an accredited Healthy Living Pharmacy
- Access to locally commissioned services, such as morning-after pill, smoking cessation, falls assessment, alcohol awareness
Alastair Farquhar, Head of Pharmacy at Lincolnshire Co-op, which runs 49 pharmacies including its Aberdeen Walk Pharmacy in Scarborough, said: “All pharmacists have trained for five years and can offer expert advice on lots of minor ailments. Most pharmacies in North Yorkshire offer confidential consultation rooms too.
“We can help with many common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains, treating minor injuries and infections – and we provide medicines management advice. If a community pharmacist can’t help, we’ll tell you whether you need to see a doctor or where else you could get the best treatment.”
NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says patients need to make “an informed choice” about which pharmacy service they use.
Dr Greg Black, NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG clinical lead for medicine, said: “Patients are free to get their prescription medicine from an online pharmacy, if they wish, but they may prefer the face-to-face interaction of a high street pharmacy.
“The majority of people live within easy reach of a community pharmacy and many pharmacies offer extended opening hours in the evenings and at weekends, making them convenient and accessible.
“Community pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals. They’re experts in helping patients manage medication and long-term conditions and are an important component of the local healthcare system in Scarborough and Ryedale.”