People in Cambridgeshire are being asked their views on pharmacies and dispensaries across the county.

The consultation, commissioned by the Cambridgeshire Health and Wellbeing Board, which finishes on 30 April, asks people's views on pharmaceutical services for now and in the future.

Pharmaceutical services include filling prescriptions, selling medicines that don't need a prescription, giving advice and supporting people to quit smoking. At the moment there are 110 pharmacies and 43 dispensing GP practices across Cambridgeshire, with 23 pharmaceutical service providers per 100,000 people, the same as the national average.

People's views will help to inform the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA), a statutory report produced by the Cambridgeshire Health and Wellbeing Board. This will then be used to help shape future development of pharmaceutical services across the county, including decisions made by NHS England on applications to open new pharmacies. The final PNA will be published by July 2017.

Director of Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, Dr Liz Robin said: œProviders of pharmaceutical services across Cambridgeshire play an essential role in improving the health of the local people. They are often the first point of contact for many, including for those who might otherwise not access health services. The public consultation provides a valuable opportunity to ensure that the views of local residents help to shape this needs assessment.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Tony Orgee, Chairman of the Cambridgeshire Health and Wellbeing Board, said: œPharmaceutical services play a key role in our communities. They can provide advice, information and treatment for minor ailments, which reduces the workload for overstretched GP surgeries and our hospitals. They can also help spot more serious illnesses and refer those people to the correct services. They are one of the building blocks in our health service and I'd encourage everyone to respond to the consultation.

The consultation and draft PNA document can be accessed here:

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