Sixty-seven per cent of UK independent pharmacists say the pandemic has changed perception and now patients are now more positive about the clinical services they offer.
The research, carried out with an independent panel of more than 100 community pharmacists and commissioned by HubRx, revealed that 35 per cent had increased their clinical services to fulfil patient demand during the pandemic.
Seventeen per cent said they had expanded their private clinical services such as vaccinations and dermatology, with a further 17 per cent adding sexual health services such as emergency contraception and chlamydia screening.
Thirty per cent introduced NHS health checks and emergency supply NHS services during the pandemic.
One in seven now offer chronic illness services supporting patients with diabetes and respiratory disease, 14 per cent added healthy living services such as weight management and stopping smoking support.
Twelve per cent introduced cardiovascular services and a further 12 per cent are now involved in blood borne virus screening.
Seventy-four per cent began offering Covid-19 services such as vaccinations and lateral flow testing, and one in four signed up to the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS).
Daniel Lee, CEO of HubRx comments: “Our research reveals that patients are now more positive about clinical services.
“Community pharmacy continues to play a vital role during the pandemic. Pharmacies have not only kept their doors open to patients throughout, but as our research shows they’ve also responded to increased public health demand and expanded clinical services.
“It’s encouraging to hear that 67 per cent of independent pharmacists feel their efforts have been recognised, and that attitudes amongst patients who may have previously thought that the pharmacy was just for prescriptions to be dispensed are changing.
“It’s critical for pharmacist to offer clinical services, not only for the benefit of public health, but also for their own survival.”
The research went on to ask UK independent pharmacists which clinical services they plan to introduce in 2022. Fourteen per cent said that they wanted to offer more private services including travel vaccinations and support for hair loss.
Seven per cent plan to offer patients access to addiction services, while a further six per cent will provide cardiovascular services.