Decision details

Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


8.1       The Board considered a draft of the 2017 East Sussex Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment.

8.2       In response to questions from the Board the following answers were provided:

  • The Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) is a comprehensive assessment of need for everybody and so does not mention specifically the needs of children and young people; the majority of pharmacy users tend to be older people. There is, however, mention of individual projects that are aimed at young people, for example, Chlamydia testing for 15-25 year olds, free emergency hormonal contraception for people under 25 and free pregnancy testing for people under 25.  There are also details of community pharmacy providing tailored advice to parents and children for illnesses and ailments such as eczema and coughs/ colds.
  • The PNA emphasises the importance of community pharmacies, which are a vital part of the East Sussex Better Together (ESBT) medicines optimisation workstream. The PNA will help ESBT to target areas for improvement in existing pharmacies and for NHS England to consider new market entries. 
  • The PNA indicates that a small number of rural areas are more than two hours away from a pharmacy by public transport on weekends and public holidays, which can make accessing medicine over the weekend difficult for some patients. East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) hospital pharmacies provide sufficient medicine to patients being discharged to last them over the weekend period when local pharmacy access is more difficult. 
  • Pharmacies are independent businesses and as such are paid by NHS England to stay open on days where it would be uneconomical for them to do so, for example, on public holidays and Sundays they are paid £250 per hour. In larger rural areas it is also difficult to encourage pharmacies to be open for 100 hours a week over seven days, and those that do are usually in supermarkets and restricted by its Sunday opening hours. The pharmacy budget is a global sum and is apportioned to provide the best possible spread of pharmacy access for residents in East Sussex; paying pharmacies in rural areas to stay open beyond the hours they do now would, therefore, impact pharmacy availability elsewhere.
  • Pharmacies are encouraged to maintain an online presence. NHS Choices contains a profile of all pharmacies, such as its hours of opening and services it provides. Since April 2017, as part of the new Quality Service for Communities, pharmacies qualified for a payment if their NHS Choice profile was updated – 9,700 0f 11,500 pharmacies submitted up-to-date profiles to qualify for this payment. Community pharmacies are also paid to include six health promotion campaigns per year in their window.

36.3     The Board RESOLVED to:

1) approve the final draft of the 2017 East Sussex Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment and agree to its publication; and

2) recommend that the final draft emphasises the pharmaceutical needs of and available pharmaceutical services for children and young people.


Publication date: 10/11/2017

Date of decision: 25/07/2017

Decided at meeting: 25/07/2017 - East Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board

Accompanying Documents: