|Q. Do we have to
participate in the survey?
Yes – it is part of the clinical governance
requirements of the contractual framework. The results of
the survey will help contractors to develop the service they
provide to their patients.
Q. When should I do the survey?
You will need to complete the survey by the end of March
2009 and by the end of March in subsequent years. Do not
underestimate how long it will take to obtain the necessary
number of returned questionnaires - leave yourself a cushion
of at least two months before the deadline. We recommend you
make plans for running the survey as soon as possible.
You do not need to conduct the survey over a single period,
although you will probably find it helps with planning to
schedule a period – or several periods - of survey activity.
The length of time to schedule is also up to you. Overall,
the survey may take several weeks to run.
Q. Will we get paid any money for completing the survey?
The funding for this is included in the global sum for
essential services. You will need to bear the direct cost of
running the survey – whether you decide to ‘do it yourself’
or whether we help you with the processing.
Q. Do we have to use the national template survey as
published by the Department of Health & PSNC?
Yes – this has been agreed nationally between PSNC and the
Department of Health. The use of a national set of
questions will allow you to compare your results with
similar pharmacies. The questions in the national template
survey have been piloted in pharmacies; the contractors
involved in the testing found that they produced useful
Q. Do I need to amend the template questionnaire before
I use it?
Yes – you will need to add your pharmacy name and address
Q. Can I amend the formatting of the nationally
agreed questionnaire, including adding my pharmacy logo?
Yes - but it is probably wise to ensure that any changes
to the formatting do not make the questionnaire
excessively long, as this may reduce the likelihood of
patients filling it in.
Q. Can we add additional questions to the
questionnaire for our own interest?
You can add your own questions to the standard set
published provided they are related to the provision of
healthcare services. intelliPharm also offers a bespoke
service that will allow you to add more questions to the
standard questionnaire, this will be mirrored for you on
the paper surveys and our online surveys we provide for
Q. Which member of the pharmacy team should
collect the data?
Many contractors may find it efficient to ask counter
assistants to approach patients, however the optimum skill
mix will of course vary from one pharmacy to another.
Q. Which patients should we give the questionnaire
Select patients in such a way as to reflect the whole
spectrum of the patient profile of the pharmacy, i.e.
don’t just give them out to specific groups of patients,
or to people accessing a particular service. You should
aim to distribute them evenly over the opening hours of
the pharmacy; you might find it easiest to ask every third
customer if they would participate.
Do not be tempted to cherry pick patients you think will
give you a good score! The evidence actually tends to show
this does not have the desired effect. Seeking the views
of a wide range of patients will produce a balanced view
that will be of most use to pharmacy contractors.
Q. Can patient comments be identified back to them
if they make serious allegations?
No, unless the patient chooses to enter their details on
the questionnaire – it would be most unusual for them to
do so. The survey should be considered anonymous rather
Q. Can I publish my own results and use them in
If you wish to do this then that is fine as long as you
comply with professional guidelines. You should however
consider whether this would in effect result in the
publication of commercially sensitive information relating
to your business.
Q. Can we help patients to fill in the
Where possible patients should complete questionnaires
themselves, but limited assistance for those with poor
eyesight or explaining general concepts is acceptable.
Staff need to give impartial guidance to patients should
they ask for help with the questionnaire.
Q. Can surveys be completed by a patient
representative on behalf of a patient?
Surveys completed by a carer or other patient
representative are acceptable, except where the pharmacist
reasonably believes that the response was submitted
without the patient’s consent.