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Pharmacy is least trusted health profession, GPhC survey shows

A GPhC survey that shows the public trusts pharmacists less than other professions offers "useful insight" into perceptions of the sector, says chief executive Duncan Rudkin

Public trust in pharmacists' health advice is lower than for other healthcare professions, a survey commissioned by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has found.


Only 39 per cent of 1,160 people who took the survey, conducted by market research company Ipsos Mori last autumn, said they trusted health advice from their pharmacist "a great deal". This was "significantly lower" than nurses (45 per cent), opticians (49 per cent), dentists (50 per cent) and GPs (62 per cent), the GPhC said.


The overall proportion of people who trusted pharmacy either "a great deal" or a "fair amount" was 87 per cent. Although this was still the lowest of the professions, it was a similar proportion to opticians, dentists and nurses, the GPhC said when it published the results yesterday (January 14).


Pharmacists were the second most popular choice for smoking cessation and medicines advice after GPs, the GPhC said. But only 7 per cent of respondents said they would contact their community pharmacist for information about flu vaccines, compared with 76 per cent who would visit their GP and 13 per cent who would use a practice nurse.
 

Of the respondents who would not choose a pharmacy to discuss at least three of the four health services listed in the survey, habit was a "key factor" in their decision to look elsewhere, the GPhC said. Thirty-six per cent said they always visited their GP practice and 15 per cent "simply did not think about going to a pharmacy", the regulator added. 


GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said the report gave “useful insight” into the public’s perception of pharmacy and would support the regulator’s work to develop its standards, prototype inspection model and other guidance. 

 

What can pharmacy do to win the public's trust?

 

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