NHS Choices to trail new pharmacy search system

NHS Choices is to trial a new online search system which will allow people to find a pharmacy that is not only located nearby but open, reports the Pharmacy Biz.

The new search engine is designed to be an improvement on the current system which only searches for the closest pharmacy to a particular postcode. It is hoped the new system will meet the needs of people looking for a pharmacy during out-of-hours periods.

“The new search functionality is possible following the recent widespread updating of NHS Choices pharmacy profiles, including opening hours, as part of the Quality Payments Scheme,” the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said.

Pharmacy’s negotiator revealed that researchers at NHS Choices collected more than 800 user responses via polls on a test version of the new system. The latest trial will see 20% of visitors using the current search redirected to the new system.

“Assuming the new search performs as expected, there will be a gradual transition of visitors to this search, with the majority being directed to the new search by the end of January 2018,” said the PSNC who revealed NHS Choices is also developing a new search system for distance-selling pharmacies and dispensing appliance contractors.