Barriers to the Use of Community Pharmacy

Types of Barriers: Practicalities

  • Accessing pharmacy
    • Geographical accessibility
    • Opening hours
    • Disables access
    • Effect of illness
  • Accessing pharmacist for advice
    • Counter staff
    • Physical layout (privacy)
    • How busy are they? Other disruptions
  • Accessing medicines
    • Cost
    • Availability OTC
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Types of Barriers: People Factors

  • Pharmacist/patient
    • Age
    • Sex
    • Known/not known
    • Same culture
    • Same language
  • Condition
    • Embarrassment 
    • Need to show pharmacist?
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  • Even when people are apparently equally fluent in two or more languages they are rarely ambilingual 
  • People often revert to their 'mother toungue' in times of stress, e.g. when ill/worried/in pain
  • Older people sometimes lose their second language skills as they get older
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Language Skills


                   Productive skills                     Receptive skills

Oracy            Speaking                                Listening

Literacy        Writing                                   Reading

  • People have different abilities within the different language skills.
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Overcoming Language Barriers: Verbal Information

Use of translators

  • Formal
    • Official translators
    • Telephone services
  • Informal
    • Staff
    • Friends
    • Family
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The Welsh Language

  • Equal status in law with English
  • Provision of NHS services through medium of Welsh is variable
  • Survey of pharmacies:
    • 72% had Welsh speaking customers (some/most/all)
    • 40% said customers had the option of speaking Welsh in the pharmacy
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  • The ability to identify with and understand someone else's feelings or difficulties 
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