Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment

Pharmacy services
Pharmacy services

Please note: The full refresh of the PNA (due to be published March 2021), has been nationally postponed until autumn 2022 due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. 

What is the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment?

The Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) investigates the pharmaceutical needs of our local population. It includes looking at the majority of services provided by community pharmacies, GP practices that dispense medications and appliance contractors.

What is the current situation?

Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, NHS England decided to postpone the PNA until October 2022. We have now started working on the updated PNA so it is ready for publication by autumn 2022. 

Part of the PNA includes asking members of the public about their views of their local pharmacy, as well as having a public consultation period for the full document. For previous survey and consultation responses, people could reply either via paper or online. However, it is recognised that encouraging people into pharmacies and doctors’ surgeries to collect questionnaires may not be possible and indeed, not appropriate (due to concerns around infection etc).  There is acknowledgment that COVID-19 may still impact engagement work. We are still considering different routes to ensure maximum engagement (e.g. via online surveys and other methods being explored with Healthwatch Suffolk and ISCRE (Ipswich & Suffolk Council for Racial Equality)).  This has led to a largely online public survey being developed. However, alternative formats are also available. 

More detailed information about the PNA: 

  • The Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) provides a comprehensive account of the commissioning environment for pharmaceutical services for the Suffolk area.
  • Pharmaceutical services include services provided from local pharmacies, dispensaries at doctors' surgeries, or specialist appliance contractors. Local pharmacies also provide healthcare help and advice and are often the first point of contact when people are concerned about their health.
  • Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board have a statutory duty to publish a Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) every three years, under the NHS (Pharmaceutical Services and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013. 
  • The Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment is a report of the present needs for pharmaceutical services. It is used to identify any gaps in current services or improvements that could be made in future pharmaceutical service provision.
  • It is used by NHS England, Suffolk County Council, and the Clinical Commissioning Groups in Suffolk to make decisions when applications for new pharmacies are received, and for the commissioning of other services that could be delivered by community pharmacies and other providers.

Where can I find the 2018 report?

Due to the impact of COVID-19 the 2018 PNA remains the most up to date document.  It should be read in conjunction with the supplementary statements below.  Supplementary statements provide a factual update in relation to what services are provided, and where. 

The full Health and Wellbeing Board Approved (15 March 2018) document

Supplementary Statements: