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Community Pharmacy Demystified: Exploring its Various Types

By Maria Hickey on November 8th, 2023

For pharmacy owners operating in the community pharmacy sector in England, understanding the different types of community pharmacies is key. This diverse field encompasses various pharmacy models that serve the healthcare needs of their local areas in collaboration with the NHS.

We explore the defining features of each main community pharmacy type.

Essential Small Pharmacies

Many community pharmacies in England are smaller independent or small chain pharmacies with a more limited offering of clinical services. These essential community pharmacies receive the standard NHS community pharmacy contractual framework funding to provide core services like dispensing prescriptions and giving health advice.

While limited in some services, small pharmacies play a vital role in community healthcare provision, often located where access would otherwise be reduced. They form the backbone of pharmacy primary care services in many regions.

Large Retail Chain Pharmacies

At the other end of the scale are the large retail pharmacy chains like Boots and Superdrug. These pharmacies offer a broader range of services beyond dispensing, including medicines reviews, flu vaccinations, and stop smoking programs.

Many large retail pharmacies are co-located within convenience stores or supermarkets, increasing foot traffic and commercial revenues beyond NHS pharmacy contracts.

100 Hour Pharmacies

To improve weekend and evening access, over 3,000 community pharmacies in England are now funded by the NHS to open for extended “100 hour” opening times.

This includes late nights and weekends to provide pharmacy services to patients when GP surgeries are typically closed. It aims to reduce pressure on other urgent care services.

Healthy Living Pharmacies

Some community pharmacies have gone further to achieve Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) status, awarded by the NHS. HLP accredited pharmacies provide leadership in public health. They offer additional health and wellbeing services like weight management, alcohol advice, and sexual health services.


The Impact of Technology on Community Pharmacies

Technology is having a major impact on how community pharmacies operate and provide care, with automation improving dispensing accuracy and work efficiency.

Examples of pharmaceutical technology

Apps and online services make it easier for patients to order refills and manage prescriptions, while patient portals give access to pharmacy records and care plans.

Telehealth consultations, remote monitoring devices, and other digital health technologies are all expanding the care options pharmacies can provide. As technology develops, it will enable pharmacies to better track adherence, analyse care gaps, and personalise services.

Supporting Medication Adherence

Despite the differences between each community pharmacy type, supporting patients with medication adherence is a vital role for all of them. Taking medications properly is critical for treatments to be effective. Pharmacists are well-placed to monitor adherence and provide counselling to help patients follow prescription instructions correctly.

Through patient education and counselling, pharmacists can help address barriers to adherence like complex regimens, forgetting doses, cost issues, and side effects. Improving adherence leads to better health outcomes and is an important part of comprehensive community pharmacy care.

Get Pharmacist Insurance from Brisco Business

The community pharmacy sector encompasses diverse models from small independents to large chains, fulfilling different roles. While types vary, connecting deeply with your local community remains key.

With comprehensive pharmacy insurance from Brisco Business, you can position your pharmacy venture for success. Operating a pharmacy brings major risks like theft, property damage and liability claims that could jeopardise your business without the right insurance coverage.

Here at Brisco Business, our pharmacist insurance packages are designed specifically for the needs of pharmacy owners. Our experts make it easy to get tailored protection so you can focus on your pharmacy’s success and serving patients.

Contact us today to get a customised quote for your pharmacy.

Maria Hickey

For more than 20 years, Maria has worked in the insurance sector and has extensive underwriting and customer service expertise. Maria is an experienced Senior Underwriter with a particular specialism for shop, office and surgery related insurance.

All articles by Maria Hickey

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