Blog

MAS Research Project: Phase Two

Lee Boag

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

First of all, thank you to all our pharmacists and their teams who distributed the questionnaires for the minor ailment study and thank you to all the people who gave their time to share their experiences. The responses we got showed just how well the minor ailment service is valued and if you haven’t had a look at the report you can view it at www.cps.scot/mas-report.

I recently presented the findings at the Health Services & Pharmacy Practice Conference held in Birmingham. The feedback was great. It was very positive and those not from Scotland expressed their admiration for our community pharmacies and what they do. The minor ailment service improves access to care and contributes to the national agenda of minimising health inequalities so it was really interesting and exciting to hear people’s experiences of accessing care and treatment from our community pharmacies.

One of the driving reasons people chose to access treatment via their community pharmacy was that they had an existing relationship with their pharmacy already. From open questions and follow up interviews it became clear that this relationship is crucial to the experience and a contributing factor of why so many people rated their experiences of the minor ailment service so highly. We also found that community pharmacy plays a crucial role in relieving general practice with 3 in 5 of the people who shared their experiences telling us they would have visited their GP had the minor ailment service not been available.

By learning more about the experiences and perceived value of those accessing their community pharmacy we can demonstrate the efforts and potential the service provides and this has led us to expand our net this time to the whole of the service. The first step of this is quantifying the advice given. From patients I have spoken to and pharmacies I have visited, advice is an integral part of patient satisfaction and trust in the service while demonstrating the knowledge expertise of the community pharmacy staff. By collecting this information we can fully exemplify these efforts which currently, in my opinion, are not as well recognised due to the importance they play.

We are piloting our methods of doing this and will use the feedback from the community pharmacy teams to test the effectiveness and logistics of capturing the advice. After this we will move to the full study phase where we will gain both staff and patient perspectives across the country. The work will exemplify the current efforts of our community pharmacies and the experiences of those who access them.

All of this is only possible because of your participation. So again, thank you and I hope I can count on your support again.