35% of survey respondents visited a pharmacy instead of a doctor during the lockdown


As a result of COVID-19 protection measures at their GP surgery, thirty-five per cent of respondents, from a study conducted by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), visited a pharmacy instead of a doctor.

The survey, which was carried out online between 29 October and 2 November 2020, consisted of two-thousand respondents. Of the thirty-five per cent who visited a pharmacy, forty-two per cent were related to mild illnesses, while thirty-three per cent were related to drug access.

“35% of survey respondents visited a pharmacy instead of a doctor during the lockdown. “

Also, the data revealed that in eight per cent of these visits, patients attending a pharmacy wished to address improvements in their mental well-being.

Vice-chair of the NPA, Nick Kaye, stated: “People trust their local pharmacists and most people can get to a pharmacy within a matter of minutes, including in the most deprived areas. That’s a level of access that is unsurpassed elsewhere in the health service. While other parts of the health service have deemed it necessary to restrict the amount of face to face care they give, pharmacies have kept their doors open throughout the pandemic - including all lockdowns.”

Chair of the Royal College of GPs, Martin Marshall, stated: “While we don’t know the circumstances of the patients who responded to this survey, we do know that, for some patients, accessing pharmacies rather than GPs is entirely appropriate and when clinically necessary, such as when physical examinations or childhood vaccinations are required, or when remote consultations have not been appropriate, face-to-face consultations have been and will continue to be arranged in as safe a way as possible.”

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