South Shropshire pharmacy opening times 'should be extended on Sundays'
Pharmacy opening times in the south of the county need to be extended on Sundays, according to an official report.
An assessment of the county's pharmaceutical needs carried out by Shropshire Council and Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group is calling for changes to ensure people can get medication when they need it.
The report, which will be discussed at a meeting of the council's health and wellbeing board next week, lists particular concerns over access to medication in South Shropshire on Sunday evenings.
Other findings in the report include that 42 per cent of 5,804 people who responded to a survey said they would go without medication if an emergency supply was not available.
The report says that there are enough pharmacies covering the county but that the south Shropshire situation should be addressed.
It states: "There is good geographical coverage of pharmaceutical services across Shropshire and the majority of residents can access them easily.
"In terms of opening hours, there are five ‘100 hour’ pharmacies across Shropshire equating to around one in ten pharmacies, with residents in Shrewsbury and North Shropshire having access to a community pharmacy for at least 100 hours during the week.
"Most residents have good access to a pharmacy during weekdays and Saturdays. However there appears to be less provision and choice on Sundays in South Shropshire and in particular on Sunday evenings."
Another recommendation included in the report is that more information needs to be provided about services available from community pharmacies.
It states: "Although responses to the patient survey were generally positive about community pharmacy a gap that was highlighted in some of the comments was that there needed to be better communications about the specific services that community pharmacies provide and which pharmacies have signed up to provide these services."
The report also includes figures for the number of needle exchange packs handed out by pharmacies for drug users.
It shows a significant drop for the most recent statistics.
A total of 5,356 needle exchange packs were given out by pharmacies across Shropshire from October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017.
The figures for 2013/14 showed that a total of 6,168 packs were given out in the county.
The report adds: "The three pharmacies with the most registrations were: Boots; Church Street, Oswestry with 75 registrations, Lunts, Roushill, Shrewsbury with 71 registrations and Boots, Pride Hill, Shrewsbury with 40 registrations. Both Highley Pharmacy and Boots, Bull Ring, Ludlow recorded less than five registrations each."
The report will be discussed at Shirehall on Thursday.