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Asda offers patients cash incentive to chat to pharmacist about Pharmacy First

The supermarket giant is raising awareness of the new Pharmacy First service by adding £1 to patients’ “cash pot” on its rewards app when they speak to the pharmacy team about it.

Asda is running a promotion offering customers with the Asda Rewards app £1 in their “cash pot” as a reward for speaking to one of its pharmacists about the upcoming NHS Pharmacy First service, it has confirmed.

The incentive has been available to customers since January 15 and is due to expire on January 29, Asda told C+D.

Screenshots from discount and deal sharing website posted on X said that customers of Asda Pharmacy can “speak to [its] pharmacy team for information about the upcoming new NHS Pharmacy First service to get £1 in [their] cashpot”.

Read more: Half of pharmacists warn not enough staff to ‘safely’ provide Pharmacy First

But pharmacists took to X - formerly known as Twitter - to express concerns about the scheme.

Former RPS England (RPSE) chair Thorrun Govind said over the weekend (January 21) that the move was “not a great look” for the supermarket pharmacy.

And pharmacist Faraaz Hussain suggested earlier this week (January 22) that the incentive could cause problems, asking “aren’t the queues at Asda pharmacy long enough?”

Read more: Asda offers patients £2 incentive to boost private flu vaccine uptake

A spokesperson for Asda told C+D today (January 23) that the scheme aims to raise awareness of the upcoming changes to pharmacy services.

They said that the supermarket pharmacy is “excited” to be able to bring the new Pharmacy First common conditions service to its local communities from the end of this month.

The service will “help to alleviate pressure on GP services and provide a boost to the pharmacy sector”, they added.

Read more: Revealed: ‘Over 90%’ of pharmacies signed up to deliver Pharmacy First

Previously, Asda ran a similar incentive scheme linked to its flu vaccinations, giving every patient who booked a private flu jab with the supermarket £2 back in their rewards app “cash pot” to be spent as they wished in November 2022.

It comes as half of respondents to a major survey conducted by the pharmacy union have warned that pharmacies do not have enough staff to “safely” deliver existing services, let alone the new Pharmacy First service as well.

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