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Mystery patient

Find out your pharmacy’s rating in our new mystery patient review. With criteria approved by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, our team travels around the UK, to test your pharmacy on patient knowledge, integration and consultation in your local health care community.

To view the reviews in your area, please click below.


Mystery Patient:The criteria

What is it

The GP workforce crisis and plummeting budgets have left general practice at near breaking point. Exhausted, burnt out and fed up, GPs are beginning to truly understand that they need help managing the demand on primary care healthcare services. Pharmacy has been seen as an untapped resource in the NHS for quite some time, but with the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS Chief Executive Simon Stephens finally taking the expanding role of pharmacy seriously, it looks as though the primary care landscape is set to fundamentally change over the next five years.

Despite this, while GPs are desperate to lessen their workload, they are still fiercely protective over their activity and patient data. The Mystery Patient feature aims to provide an evidence base for pharmacists to take on a greater role in primary care and public health, facilitate discussions around greater integrated working between GPs and pharmacists and champion the great work pharmacists do.

The ratings system will help pharmacists provide evidence that they are meeting the needs of patients, can refer and signpost competently, have good links with wider healthcare organisations, identify training gaps and ultimately reinforce their role as a trusted health practitioner in the community.

What will be published?

When pharmacies score seven out of ten the review will be published in its entirety with pictures and pharmacy name visible as it is acknowledge and agreed this pharmacy is achieving higher than average patient satisfaction.

Should a pharmacy score less than seven out of ten, the review will be published but the pharmacy name and photo will be hidden, with no references included that could trace readers back to the owners of the pharmacy. The pharmacy alone will be informed of their review score by The Pharmacist editorial team as a training gap exercise.

The ‘Star’ pharmacist will be awarded a certificate with a profile published in the following issue of The Pharmacist.

This will ensure the feature is a celebration of the good work carried out by pharmacists and not a name and shame exercise.


Out of ten

Patient experience: (Two marks out of ten on offer)

  • Were you greeted?
  • Were the pharmacy staff personable?
  • Did you feel looked after/safe in the pharmacy?
  • Did you trust your pharmacist?

Consultation: (Three marks out of ten on offer)

  • Did you get to speak to the pharmacist?
  • Were you encouraged to offer information about your ailment/illness/concerns?
  • Did they seek to understand your health complaint by asking you thorough questions, asking to see the problem (if visible such as skin irritations, rashes etc)
  • Did the pharmacist offer you sufficient privacy during the consultation?
  • Was there any attempt to make a diagnosis? Was any diagnostic equipment used?

Knowledge: (Three marks out of ten on offer)

  •  Did you feel satisfied/content with the advice offered by your pharmacist?
  • Were you offered referral information?
  • Did the pharmacist signpost services appropriately?

Integrated working: (Two marks out of ten on offer)

  • Does the pharmacy have any links with general practices/other healthcare services in the area?
  • Is there any route for pharmacists to communicate with GPs in the community?