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Report published on extent of pharmacy services in England

NHS Digital has today published figures on activity carried out by community pharmacies and appliance contractors in England.

NHS Digital has today published figures on activity carried out by community pharmacies and appliance contractors1 in England.

The General Pharmaceutical Services in England 2008/09 - 2018/19 report contains information on the services supplied by community pharmacies and contractors during this period2.

Trend data in this publication is published at national level for England3. Statistics for 2018/19 has been published at NHS England regional and subregional level.  

Included in the report is information on:

  • The number of community pharmacies as at 31 March 2019
  • The percentage of community pharmacies owned by independent contractors and multiple contractors4
  • The number of prescription items5 dispensed by community pharmacies and appliance contractors6
  • The number of community pharmacies that opened and closed during 2018/19
  • The number of NHS flu jabs carried out by community pharmacies
  • The number of medicines use reviews carried out by community pharmacies


Read the full report

Related pages

Notes for editors

  1. Appliance contractors provide services to people who need appliances such as stoma and incontinence care aids, trusses, hosiery, surgical stockings and dressings. They range from small sole-trader businesses to larger companies. They do not supply drugs.

  2. Activity shown is for the whole year and includes activity carried out by community pharmacy contractors and appliance contractors who may not have been on the list as at 31 March due to a merger or closure mid-year.

  3. Data provided in this publication comes from the following sources: NHS Digital, NHS Prescription Services (a division of NHS Business Services Authority), NHS England and NHS Litigation Authority Family Health Services Appeal Unit. The data collected and published assists the Department of Health (DH) to monitor the community pharmacy market and assess the impact of the current regulatory framework, particularly in relation to patient access and choice to inform and develop policy.

  4. A multiple contractor is defined as consisting of six pharmacies or more.

  5. A prescription item refers to each medicine prescribed on a prescription form. Each prescription form may include one or more prescription items; each item may attract one or more dispensing fee.

  6. The vast majority of the prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacy and appliance contractors are written by general practitioners, although nurses, dentists, pharmacists, other non/medical prescribers, and hospital doctors also write prescriptions. This publication excludes prescriptions dispensed by General Practitioners in rural areas (known as dispensing doctors) to those patients who have difficulty accessing a community pharmacy service. Note that these are included in other Statistical Bulletins published by NHS Digital.

  7. NHS Digital is the national information and technology partner of the health and care system.  Our team of information analysts, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend.  During the 2018/19 financial year, NHS Digital published 265 statistical reports. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better.

Last edited: 11 December 2019 4:24 pm