Pharmacy users’ perceptions, awareness and future expectations of community pharmacy in England: a focus group study

Evina Paloumpi, Piotr Ozieranski, Mags Watson, Matthew Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To explore pharmacy users’ perceptions of current and future provision of community pharmacy services in England.

Methods: Qualitative, reconvened focus groups were conducted with community pharmacy users. An initial focus group explored preliminary views. Participants were then given an evidence brief describing community pharmacy prior to a reconvened focus group two weeks later. Transcripts were analysed using inductive thematic analysis.

Key findings: Eleven individuals participated across two reconvened focus groups. Participants valued community pharmacies and staff, but lacked awareness of their services and roles: “…I don’t think the general public is aware of all of this…it gives you a very different perspective”. Urgent care and long-term conditions management were identified as suitable for future development, facilitated by training, closer collaboration with general practices, shared access to health records, and premises with more space and confidentiality: “I still think of it as a retail space more than as a health service”. Concerns were expressed about working conditions in community pharmacy and unplanned closures: “doesn’t sound like a great place to work”. Participants anticipated greater use of technology but did not want this to replace face-to-face contact with pharmacy staff: “I am not saying it’s inaccurate, it is so remote and impersonal”.

Conclusions: Pharmacy users would value a greater role for community pharmacy in addressing the challenges currently faced by the health service in England, provided that their concerns on a range of issues are addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-45
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number1
Early online date18 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2023


  • Community pharmacist
  • Community pharmacy
  • Community Pharmacy Services
  • community pharmacies
  • England (UK)
  • England
  • Patient
  • Future
  • Future trends
  • Future of work
  • Focus Group
  • Qualitative
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy


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