Exploring the gap: community pharmacists' perceptions of their current role compared with their aspirations

P. Rutter, Adrian Hunt, I. F. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective — To investigate community pharmacy managers' perceptions of their role in providing health care to patients and to compare these with their aspirations for the future. Method — Fourteen pharmacist managers from one regional area of a UK national multiple pharmacy chain participated in two focus groups. Key findings — Participants voiced a shared vision of wanting to play a more integral part in the health care of patients. Strategies put forward to embrace a more participative role included delegation of health screening and minor illness clinics from the prescriber to the pharmacist, having more formalised and open channels of communication with prescribers and moving away from performing technical duties, such as the physical assembly of medicines. Participants in both groups showed awareness that apathy and inaction would result in potential opportunities for pharmacy to be lost or passed over to another profession within the primary health care team (PHCT). Two key external obstacles that currently prevented attainment of desired roles were identified: first, a lack of awareness among other health care professionals and the general public about the pharmacist's skills and attributes and, secondly, current UK legislation that limits the potential for community pharmacists to expand their role away from the pharmacy premises. Conclusions — Participants believed that they could provide a more comprehensive pharmaceutical service if given the chance. However, they believed that implementation of change would be difficult considering the obstacles that needed to be surmounted for change to occur.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-208
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2000


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