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Mystery shoppers back Staffs service

Mystery shoppers are a common occurrence for healthcare professionals in Staffordshire

Mystery shoppers are a common occurrence for healthcare professionals in Staffordshire, where the LPC reports that the PCT uses them "a lot, not just with pharmacy but for dentists and others" to assess the quality of services being provided. In the past year the shoppers tested the community pharmacy EHC service, but by all accounts it passed with flying colours.

"The PCT didn't give us the full report, but it was all very positive," says chief officer of North Staffordshire LPC Tania Cork. "[The shoppers] graded the services looking at opening and waiting times. Pharmacies were graded out of five stars and I think most of them received four stars." Pharmacies were also praised for being "youngpatient friendly", Ms Cork adds.

The mystery shopper scheme also led to some ideas about how pharmacies could improve the service they were providing. "They recommended large, clear signs at the front of pharmacies and said some should have clearer opening times," Ms Cork says. "It also looked at widening the advertising of the EHC service towards young people, but I think that's been addressed now with the local healthy living pharmacy campaign."

Most pharmacies received four stars

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