Evaluation of the community pharmacy element of an information prescriptions pilot

Nicola Gray, Gianpiero Celino, Anne Joshua, Stephen Tomlin, C. Alice Oborne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to describe the experience of community pharmacists participating in a pilot of an information prescription service aimed at children and their parents, in the wider context of factors relevant to the adoption of new services in community pharmacies. Information prescriptions (IP) are conceived to signpost patients to information and advice that will increase self-efficacy. The Department of Health for England has supported IP development with a national programme of pilots, only one of which incorporated distribution of IP through community pharmacies. The new contract for community pharmacy, implemented in 2005, formalized cognitive services, including information-giving about medicines and health, and positioned signposting as a core activity. There are, however, concerns about the impact of such services on the capacity of community pharmacy. Qualitative semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with key informants: seven pharmacists in four IP pilot community pharmacies in England (‘IP pharmacists’), and 22 other pharmacy and medicines information stakeholders. Two interviews were conducted with each IP pilot pharmacist (before and during the pilot), and one with all other stakeholders. IP pharmacists, and other stakeholders, identified a number of benefits for parents of children with long-term conditions in receiving IP, and hoped that most parents would welcome the service. Many anticipated operational challenges consistent with those of other new cognitive community pharmacy services, such as medicines use review. Pharmacists completing IP for parents found it satisfying and straightforward. Recruitment of parents to the pilot, however, fell below IP pharmacists’ expectations. The lack of interest in the service from parents, who are assumed to be generally welcoming of information about their child’s condition, was both surprising and disappointing to them. IP should be integrated into a wider, integrated medicines and information strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-342
Number of pages11
JournalPrimary Health Care Research and Development
Issue number4
Early online date28 Jul 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


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