Utilisation of pharmacy-based sexual and reproductive health services: A quantitative retrospective study

Julia Gauly, Helen Atherton, Peter K. Kimani, Jonathan Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives To explore the utilisation of pharmacy-based sexual and reproductive health services (SRHS) in order to optimise delivery and identify barriers to access. Methods The health provider Umbrella offers six SRHS from over 120 pharmacies in Birmingham (England). In this retrospective study, data collected between August 2015 and August 2018 were used to analyse uptake, user characteristics and attendance patterns according to day of the week. Results A total of 60 498 requests for a pharmacy service were included in the analysis. Emergency contraception (50.4%), condoms (33.1%) and STI self-sampling kits (9.6%) accounted for more than 90% of all requests. A lower uptake of services was observed for the contraceptive injection (0.6%), oral contraception (5.4%) and chlamydia treatment (1.0%). Services were most likely to be requested by those self-identifying as female (85.6%), and those aged 16-24 years (53.8%). Based on available ethnicity data (n=54 668), most requests for a service were made by White/White British individuals (43.4%) and Asian/Asian British people (23.1%). The largest number of services were delivered on Mondays (20.9%) and the lowest on Sundays (5.0%). A high proportion of requests for services on Saturdays (57.0%), Sundays (67.6%) and Mondays (54.4%) were made by females presenting for emergency contraception. Conclusion The evaluation of healthcare utilisation is important to help refine and optimise the delivery of services. However, information relating to pharmacy-based SRHS is scarce and often limited to a single type of service provision. Overall, a wide range of pharmacy-based services were accessed by a diverse range of people, suggesting that pharmacies are a suitable provider of many SRHS. However, the routinely collected data analysed in the study had several limitations restricting the analysis. Sexual health providers should ensure they collect data which are as comprehensive as is possible in order to help understand the utilisation of services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-133
Number of pages8
JournalSexually Transmitted Infections
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • community services
  • contraception
  • service delivery
  • sexual health


Dive into the research topics of 'Utilisation of pharmacy-based sexual and reproductive health services: A quantitative retrospective study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this