Over half of the patients responding to a survey were unaware of the full range of services that pharmacies provide.

Nearly all (96%) of the 200 patients surveyed by pharmacy technology provider Charac said that they used a pharmacy to order prescriptions, while 80% said that they used one to dispose of old medication.

And 47% said that they used a pharmacy for repeat prescriptions, while 58% said that they used pharmacies for minor ailments such as colds, flu, and low level digestive issues.

Over half (52.5%) said that they would go to their pharmacy rather than their GP for repeat prescriptions, and 57% would visit a pharmacy over a GP for minor illnesses.

Most respondents to the online survey were aware of just four potential services that pharmacies can provide: minor illnesses (64%), repeat prescriptions (59%), emergency contraception (55%) and flu vaccination (55%).

But just 13% knew that they could visit a pharmacy for chlamydia screening and treatment, while knowledge of other services was also low.

The survey was carried out over the last month and reached over 200 people across England, a sample that Charac said was representative of the population as a whole.

Santosh Sahu, founder and CEO of Charac, said: ‘Though it is great to see patients largely very happy with the services provided by their pharmacies, it’s clear that patient confidence in various services other than prescriptions is low’.

He added that if a ‘Pharmacy First’ policy were to be implemented, ‘more must be done to provide pharmacies with better resources and increase patient confidence’.

Charac is partnered with the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) and provides a digital platform for community pharmacies to manage their patient interactions.