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The North Yorkshire Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) has produced a draft Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) for 2018-21, which describes what pharmacy services are available in North Yorkshire and what services might be needed in the future.

Earlier this year, a public consultation lead by Public Health teams from NYCC and City of York Council, on behalf of their Health and Wellbeing Boards, in partnership with other agencies including NHS England and Healthwatch, asked people if they thought existing pharmacy services were in the right place, open at the right time and provided the services needed.

The information gathered from the consultation exercise has now been used to complete a draft Pharmacy Needs Assessment (PNA) that looks at the health needs of the population of the county, the level and accessibility of pharmacy services and how these will be maintained and developed in the future.

This will influence decisions on where to site pharmacies, their opening hours and what services are provided. NHS England makes commissioning decisions about pharmacies in North Yorkshire and the PNA will be used to help them do this. The assessment is renewed every three years.

Cllr Michael Harrison, Chairman of the North Yorkshire Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “There are 179 pharmacies in North Yorkshire and our last survey in 2015 told us that 84 out of 100 people visit a pharmacy at least once a year, and that around 98% of the population of North Yorkshire lives within five miles – as a crow flies – of a pharmacy. The majority of residents are within a reasonable travel distance of a pharmacy and 63% of our population lives within a 20 minute walk of one.

“Evidence shows that generally there continues to be a good geographic spread of pharmacies across North Yorkshire, and good coverage in areas where demand is greatest. The majority of people live within a reasonable travel distance of a pharmacy, and all of the county’s districts and boroughs have above the national level of pharmacies per 100,000 population.

“We have produced our draft assessment based on this evidence and on what people – including those who don’t or rarely use pharmacies – have told us they think about existing pharmaceutical services, and what they think we should be looking to provide in the future. The consultation on the draft assessment closes at midnight on 11 February 2018, and you can take part at https://consult.northyorks.gov.uk/snapwebhost/s.asp?k=151264448978

Feedback from the consultation will be collated and presented to the PNA Steering Group, for consideration on behalf of the HWB, and the final assessment document will be published by the end of March. If you have any queries about it, or would like a hard copy of the report, please contact PNA@northyorks.gov.uk or phone 01609 536910.