Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment

Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) Consultation Invitation to Participate

Halton Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) is developing a new PNA. This is a statutory HWB responsibility, as set out under the NHS (Pharmaceutical Services and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013(SI 2013 No. 349).

A PNA is a document which records the assessment of the need for pharmaceutical services within a specific area. As such, it sets out a statement of the pharmaceutical services which are currently provided, together with when and where these are available to a given population. The same Regulations require NHS England to use the PNA to consider applications to open a new pharmacy, move an existing pharmacy or to commission additional services from pharmacy.

The HWB has established a PNA Steering Group to oversee the development of the new PNA. This group includes membership from our partner organisations, Healthwatch and the Local Pharmaceutical Committee.

As part of the development process, the Regulations require that the HWB undertakes a formal consultation on a draft of its PNA. The key outcomes for this consultation are:

    To encourage constructive feedback from a variety of stakeholders
  • To ensure a wide range of primary care health professionals provide opinions and views on what is contained within the PNA

Taking this into account, we would like to invite you to participate in this consultation, which will run from 9am Tuesday 8 March 2022 to 5pm Monday 9 May 2022.

All responses must be in writing

Please complete the questionnaire at

Halton Borough Council has decided to run this consultation electronically in order to limit the environmental impact of this consultation. However, if you require a paper version of the PNA, please contact Sharon McAteer at or by telephone on 0151 511 6849 who will arrange to provide this within 14 days of your request.

All feedback received by 5pm on Monday 9 May 2022 will be collated and presented to the PNA Task & Finish Group, for consideration on behalf of the HWB. A consultation report will be included within the final PNA document. This will provide an overview of the feedback received and set out how the comments have been acted upon. An updated PNA including consultation process and responses will be presented to the HWB in July 2022 and published on 1 October 2022.

We look forward to receiving your feedback on the draft PNA

Suspension of the current development process for next Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment – was due for publishing in April 2021

ADDENDUM: a further 6 month extension to publication of the next PNA has been granted by Department of Health & Social Care. The next PNA is now due for publication by 1 October 2022.​

Local Health and Wellbeing Boards and Local Authority leads were working towards new Pharmaceutical Needs Assessments that were due to be renewed and published by Local Authority Health and Wellbeing Boards no later than April 2021.

The Department of Health and Social Care announced on 21st May that, due to current pressures across all sectors in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the requirement to publish renewed Pharmaceutical Need Assessments has been suspended until April 2022.

Local Authority Health and Well-​Being Boards will retain the ability to issue supplementary statements to respond to local changes and pharmaceutical needs during this time.

The suspension of publishing PNAs from April 2021 until April 2022 will free up time and capacity given other priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. If additional information is required ahead of the extended deadline then Supplementary Statements can still be issued.

The NHS Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services Regulations 2013 will be updated.

The pharmaceutical needs assessment (PNA) is a statutory document that states the pharmacy needs of the local population.  This includes dispensing services as well as public health and other services that pharmacies may provide. It is used as the framework for making decisions when granting new contracts and approving changes to existing contracts as well as for commissioning pharmacy services. First detailed in the NHS Act 2006 where PCTs were divested with the responsibility for producing the PNA, since 1 April 2013 this responsibility now sits with Health & Wellbeing Boards (HWB).
The NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013, effective from 1 April 2013, require each HWB to: 

  • Make a revised assessment as soon as is reasonably practicable after identifying changes to the need for pharmaceutical services which are of a significant extent.
  • Publish its first PNA by 1 April 2015.

National guidance states that the PNA should detail the current pharmaceutical service provision available in the area and where there may need to be changes to this in the future because of changes to the health needs or geographical location of the local population.

NHS England teams are mandated under the same regulations to use the PNA when making decisions on applications to open new pharmacies and dispensing appliance contractor premises.

Public health teams and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will also use the PNA to inform their commissioning decisions, when commissioning local services from community pharmacies.

Robust, up-to-date evidence is important to ensure that community pharmacy services are provided in the right place and meet the needs of the communities they serve.  The PNA has been produced on behalf of the Health and Wellbeing Board, and covers the period 2018-2021.