Every Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) in England has a statutory duty to publish and keep up to date a statement of the need for pharmaceutical services in its area, otherwise referred to as a Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA). PNAs are key reference documents as regards the development and improvement of local pharmaceutical services.
According to the NHS Pharmaceutical Service Regulations 2013, NHS England area teams must consider local PNAs while dealing with applications from new pharmaceutical service providers i.e. in deciding whether a new pharmacy should be allowed in a particular locality or not, otherwise referred to as market entry.
PNAs are also used by the NHS and local authority commissioners in making decisions on which NHS funded services (e.g. medicine use review service) and locally commissioned services (e.g. stop smoking and sexual health services) need to be provided by local community pharmacies.
The council undertook a first PNA for Peterborough in 2015 and, in line with the statutory requirement to update at least once per three years (more often if there is a significant change that impacts pharmaceutical services/provision in the area), a second PNA commenced in 2017 with a view to being completed in time for the March 2018 Peterborough Health & Wellbeing Board.
The aim of the Peterborough 2018 PNA was to describe the current pharmaceutical services within the area, systematically identify any gaps/unmet needs and, in consultation with stakeholders, make recommendations on future development. The process was overseen by a steering group consisting of key professionals drawn from the public health department at Peterborough City Council, NHS England East Anglia area team, Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC), Healthwatch, East Anglia Pharmacy Local Professional Network and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
A public consultation regarding the PNA document was undertaken between October 2017 and December 2017, during which views from the public and other stakeholders were sought and considered when drafting the current document which was approved by the HWB in March 2018.