Objectives: To explore older people's opinions of current community pharmacy provision and identify potential areas for improvement. Methods: A pilot focus group was conducted to finalise the topic areas for discussion. Three focus groups and three small group interviews were held with a total of 25 people aged over 65-years. A purposive sampling approach was used to maximise variation in likely responses. All focus group discussions were transcribed and analysed for emerging themes. Data collection continued until saturation was reached. Finally, the themes were taken to a further five community groups to discuss and confirm the findings. Key findings Two main interlinked themes emerged around 'personal and relational factors' and 'service factors'. The participants valued continuity of personalised pharmaceutical care and described receiving this care in small community pharmacies. The ability to build a trusting relationship over time was important to the people in this study. There was a lack of awareness of services already available from community pharmacies. Ongoing disruption in the supply of medicines caused problems for this client group, and the complexity of prescription ordering, collection and delivery systems presented challenges for participants. Good communication from the community pharmacy helped to improve the experience. Conclusion This study contributes some qualitative data on the opinions of older people about community pharmacies. There may be planning implications for the size of future community pharmacies and the range of services provided. Community pharmacies may need to take a more proactive role in promoting innovative services to older people who may benefit from these services.
- community pharmacy
- needs assessment