To consider a report from Public Health Programme Manager.
The Public Health Programme Manager introduced the update and reminded the board of Trafford’s pharmaceutical needs assessment 2022-25. Trafford had a greater number of pharmacies than the GM and England average, although there was a current gap in provision within Partington on Saturday afternoons or Sundays. Work was being done to see if any pharmacies in the area would be interested in opening on a rota basis, however this was difficult as Trafford did not hold the contracts.
The Public Health Programme Manager informed the Board of the recent pharmacy closures of Lloyds Pharmacies based in Sainsburys in Altrincham, Sale, and Urmston. However, Trafford was coping and had a good level of provision in place. The Public Health Programme Manager stated that the Partington issue was more prevalent however, a recent announcement from Boots, who were planning to close 300 stores where there was coverage within 3 miles, meant that it could become a concern. As of the meeting there had been no announcements for closure to Boots Pharmacies based in Trafford.
The Public Health Programme Manager continued, highlighting changes to commissioned service for pharmacies associated with Emergency Hormonal Contraception (EHC) and smoking cessation. A SCS service had been launched, which would take smoking cessation referrals from hospitals. The Cure service in GM was in place to support inpatients to stop smoking. A swap to stop pilot was ongoing nationally and the team planned to look at the end of August to see whether Trafford could obtain any funding.
The Chair of Healthwatch Trafford asked about out of hours provision within GM, and the lack of it within Trafford. The Public Health Programme Manager recognised the troubles of this in Trafford and how it was difficult to address them as the Council did not hold the pharmacy contracts, just the contracts for the services commissioned by the Council. Communication was taking place with pharmacies to encourage additional out of hours provision, but the Council’s ability to affect the level of provision were limited.
The Trafford Integrated Network Director raised concerns around the lack of pharmacy provision in Partington on certain days, especially for the disabled population of Trafford and Partington specifically (where one in four people were registered as disabled).
The GP Board Representative shared her concerns regarding pharmacy closures and the struggles being faced by the remaining pharmacies that were in operation.
The Deputy Place Lead for Health and Care Integration asked about the impact of pharmacy closures so far and if the remaining pharmacies had sufficient capacity. The Public Health Programme Manager responded that an impact was not being seen yet, as many of the closures were located near to other pharmacies. However, she mentioned how possible Boots closures could have a bigger impact in the future.
The Chair of Healthwatch Trafford felt that better communications were required to inform the public what medication was available where, as the level of medication access was concerning. The Public Health Programme Manager seconded this concern. Trafford’s aim was for all residents to be within half a mile of a pharmacy, with almost everyone currently within a mile. The Deputy Place Led for Health and Care Integration agreed that communications could be improved.
RESOLVED: That the update be noted.