The UK Towns and Cities that are best and worst prepared to rollout the Covid-19 Vaccine

The UK Towns and Cities that are best and worst prepared to rollout the Covid-19 Vaccine

We analysed data from 16,794 community pharmacies in the UK to see which areas are best prepared for the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

In this report we have pulled pharmacy data for 16,794 pharmacies in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland over 3 years. Our analysis aimed to understand the prevalence and availability of pharmacies around the UK, how those numbers are changing and how this may impact the rate at which the Covid vaccine is rolled out.

Our findings show that some areas of the UK have nealy 6 times the number of vaccines to administer when compared to areas in London.

6 community pharmacies throughout Britain began a rollout of the coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday January 13th. However, despite this breakthrough, which came almost a year after the first lockdown was announced, there are calls from all corners of the UK to offer the vaccine in all 16,794 local pharmacies.

By analysing the population and total numer of pharmacies in certain areas throughout the UK, we were able to determine which pharmacies would be under the most pressure to deliver the vaccine and what impact this could potentially have on the rate at which the vaccine is rolled out.

4 of the top 5 areas with the best access to pharmacies in the whole of the UK are dominated by London postcodes.

Our findings show that areas of Central London have the best access to community pharmacies with 1,131 people for every 1 pharmacy. On the other end of the spectrum, Salisbury was found to have nearly 6,000 people for every 1 pharmacy.

What does this mean for the UK vaccine rollout?

Quote from Jon Higham, Managing Director of Online Pharmacy Medicine Direct
"Our findings show that many regions throughout the UK are well equipped to cope with a mass rollout of the vaccine through community pharmacies. There will undoubtedly be delays in rolling out the vaccine in certain areas of the UK.
With a handful of pharmacies already carrying out vaccinations, this is the ideal time for a mass rollout in areas that can easily cope with the demand.
It's also easy to forget that the vaccine consists of 2 doses for every adult. To put this into perspective, for many Central London pharmacies this is equal to around 2,200 doses in total, whereas Salisbury pharmacies have to administer around 12,000 doses.
My concern is that with the current demand for the covid vaccine among community pharmacies, this may lead to normal 'every day' patients facing delays when it comes to their regular checkups and receiving the medicine they need on time.
As for areas like Salisbury and Hereford, this research also clearly suggests that rolling out the vaccine in these places sooner rather than later will alleviate the pressure to cope with demand. It will also ensure that those who are most at risk can be safely and swiftly vaccinated."

The top 20 places in the UK with the best access to pharmacies

Postcode area Area covered Population Households Total Pharmacies  Pharmacies Per 100,000 People People Per Pharmacy Region
EC Central London 33956 17102 30 88 1,131 London
WC Central London 35745 15757 21 58 1,702 London
ZE Lerwick 23086 9915 12 51 1,923 Scotland
W West London 531690 236493 251 47 2,118 London
HA Harrow 480678 169132 208 43 2,310 London
WD Watford 256476 103336 108 42 2,374 East of England
HS Outer Hebrides 27663 12565 11 39 2,514 Scotland
NW North West London 553732 222208 219 39 2,528 London
BD Bradford 578374 223952 221 38 2,617 Yorkshire and the Humber
BB Blackburn 488564 202015 185 37 2,640 North West
KW Kirkwall 53132 24290 20 37 2,656 Scotland
HX Halifax 160137 68980 56 34 2,859 Yorkshire and the Humber
N North London 847197 344938 296 34 2,862 London
OL Oldham 462590 188194 160 34 2,891 North West
B Birmingham 1904293 750842 652 34 2,920 West Midlands
UB Southall 371413 126879 127 34 2,924 London
L Liverpool 856675 370680 290 33 2,954 North West
BL Bolton 379929 159979 127 33 2,991 North West
HD Huddersfield 262843 111694 87 33 3,021 Yorkshire and the Humber
SR Sunderland 250843 109612 83 33 3,022 North East

Unsurprisingly, Central London is the area with most pharmacies per capita, with the EC postcode area of the city serving just 1,132 people per pharmacy. Our research revealed that the EC postcode district of Central London has 30 pharmacies to serve a population of 33,956. The WC postcode area of Central London takes second place, with 21 pharmacies to serve a population of 35,745 people; this equates to 1,702 people per pharmacy.

4 of the top 5 areas with the best access to pharmacies in the whole of the UK are dominated by London postcodes.

Further findings on which areas are most likely to benefit from a mass rollout of the vaccine can be seen on the table below:

Pharmacy Access By Region

We hear the argument about a north-south divide all the time, however; is there really a north south divide when it comes to access to pharmacies? We have analysed each region across the UK and it makes for interesting reading.

Of course different UK regions will benefit from much faster vaccination rates than others, this is largely down to the number of pharmacies available when compared to population figures

The 5 best areas in London

Postcode area Area covered Population Households Total Pharmacies Open Pharmacies Per 100,000 People People Per Pharmacy
EC Central London 33956 17102 30 88 1,131
WC Central London 35745 15757 21 58 1,702
W West London 531690 236493 251 47 2,118
HA Harrow 480678 169132 208 43 2,310
NW North West London 553732 222208 219 39 2,528

 

Now that you have seen the areas in London with the best access to pharmacies, what about the areas with the worst access to pharmacies?

The 5 worst areas in London for Pharmacy access are:

  1. Bromley = 3,739 people per pharmacy
  2. Enfield = 3,554 people per pharmacy
  3. Romford = 3,519 people per pharmacy
  4. Kingston upon Thames = 3,461 people per pharmacy
  5. Ilford = 3,425 people per pharmacy

Based on our data, Bromley is the worst area in London for community pharmacy access with 3,739 people for every 1 pharmacy.

The 5 best areas in the East Midlands

Postcode area Area covered Population Households Total Pharmacies Open Pharmacies Per 100,000 People People Per Pharmacy
LE Leicester 985352 391460 325 32 3,031
NG Nottingham 1163617 493228 313 26 3,717
DE Derby 730125 306586 189 25 3,863
NN Northampton 653055 272356 161 24 4,056
LN Lincoln 293141 126372 61 20 4,805

Leicester comes out on top in the East Midlands with 3,031 people per pharmacy. When we compare this data against the top 5 areas in London with the best access to pharmacies, not only is it closer to competing with the areas in London with the worst access to pharmacies, it also has nearly 3 times more people per pharmacy than the top performing area in Central London.

 

Leicester was also the first area of the UK to also get put into its own "local lockdown" after the majority of the UK. Local pharmacies in this area will be keen to get started on the rollout of the vaccine sooner rather than later.

Out of the top 5 areas with the best access to pharmacies in the East Midlands, 4 of those areas would be firmly in the top 5 areas with the worst access to pharmacies in central London.

The 5 best areas in the West Midlands

Postcode area Area covered Population Households Total P+D Open P+D Per 100,000 People People Per P+D
B Birmingham 1904293 750842 652 34 2,920
WV Wolverhampton 396187 162933 128 32 3,095
WS Walsall 449728 181669 142 31 3,167
CV Coventry 821033 341504 256 31 3,207
ST Stoke-on-Trent 644416 275646 187 29 3,446

Unsurprisingly Birmingham has the best access to pharmacies in the west midlands with just 2,920 people for every 1 pharmacy.

The top 5 areas in the West Midlands with the worst access to pharmacies:

  1. Hereford = 5,509 people per pharmacy
  2. Worcester = 4,718 people per pharmacy
  3. Telford = 4,087 people per pharmacy
  4. Dudley = 3,635 people per pharmacy
  5. Stoke-on-Trent = 3,446 people per pharmacy (also features in the top 5 best)

Not only is it the worst area for pharmacy access in the West Midlands, Hereford also takes 2nd place in the area with the worst access to pharmacies in the UK.

The 5 best areas in the East of England

Postcode area Area covered Population Households Total Pharmacies Open Pharmacies Per 100,000 People People Per Pharmacy
WD Watford 256476 103336 108 42 2,374
SS Southend-on-Sea 518631 216682 159 30 3,261
LU Luton 336095 129149 100 29 3,360
AL St Albans 249911 99209 65 26 3,844
SG Stevenage 402479 167182 103 25 3,907

Watford has the best access to pharmacies throughout the East of England with nearly 1,000 people less per pharmacy than Southend-on-sea which takes second spot.

The 5 Worst areas in the East of England for pharmacy access are

  • Cambridge = 4,480 people per pharmacy
  • Peterborough = 4,200 people per pharmacy
  • Chelmsford = 4,189 people per pharmacy
  • Hemel Hempstead = 4,140 people per pharmacy
  • Norwich = 4,014 people per pharmacy

Cambridge is the worst area in the East of England for Pharmacy access with 4,480 people for every 1 pharmacy in the area.

The 5 best areas in the North East

Postcode area Area covered Population Households Total Pharmacies Open Pharmacies Per 100,000 People People Per Pharmacy
SR Sunderland 250843 109612 83 33 3,022
DH Durham 309030 132814 96 31 3,219
NE Newcastle upon Tyne 1162976 510229 322 27 3,611
TS Cleveland 602320 256341 164 27 3,672
DL Darlington 360734 156814 98 27 3,680

Sunderland, with just over 3,000 people per pharmacy takes the top spot across the entire North East of England.

The 5 best areas in the North West

Postcode area Area covered Population Households Total Pharmacies Open Pharmacies Per 100,000 People People Per Pharmacy
BB Blackburn 488564 202015 185 37 2,640
OL Oldham 462590 188194 160 34 2,891
L Liverpool 856675 370680 290 33 2,954
BL Bolton 379929 159979 127 3 2,991
M Manchester 1167414 492884 377 32 3,096

Surprisingly Blackburn takes top spot across the whole of the north west, providing better access to community pharmacies than major cities such as Manchester and Liverpool.

The 5 Worst areas in the North west for pharmacy access are:

  1. Chester = 4,048 people per pharmacy
  2. Carlisle = 4,026 people per pharmacy
  3. Wigan = 3,913 people per pharmacy
  4. Crewe = 3,820 people per pharmacy
  5. Stockport = 3,614 people per pharmacy

Chester is the worst area in the North West for pharmacy access with 4,048 people for every 1 pharmacy.

The 5 best ares in the South East

Postcode area Area covered Population Households Total Pharmacies Open Pharmacies Per 100,000 People People Per Pharmacy
DA Dartford 430139 173329 131 30 3283
SL Slough 373407 144554 111 29 3364
BN Brighton 802838 356367 206 25 3897
ME Rochester 606891 245786 148 24 4100
CT Canterbury 482627 206290 116 24 4160

The 5 Worst areas in the South East for pharmacy access are:

  1. Reading = 5,189 people per pharmacy
  2. Southampton = 4,929 people per pharmacy
  3. Tonbridge = 4,637 people per pharmacy
  4. Guildford = 4,566 people per pharmacy
  5. Oxford = 4,510 people per pharmacy

Reading has the worst access to a pharmacy across the South East with 5,189 people for every 1 pharmacy. Reading also comes in at 3 on the list across the entire UK.

The 5 best areas in the South West

Postcode area Area covered Population Households Total Pharmacies Open Pharmacies Per 100,000 People People Per Pharmacy
BH Bournemouth 552110 242907 143 25 3,860
TQ Torquay 281112 125365 72 25 3,904
BS Bristol 940076 398197 240 25 3,916
EX Exeter 547401 235895 127 23 4,310
GL Gloucester 605458 257602 136 22 4,451

Bournemouth has the best access to pharmacies in the South West, with a total of 143 pharmacies. This equates to 3,860 people per pharmacy.

The 5 Worst areas in the South West for pharmacy access are:

  1. Salisbury = 5,955 people per pharmacy
  2. Swindon = 4,986 people per pharmacy
  3. Taunton = 4,812 people per pharmacy
  4. Truro = 4,742 people per pharmacy
  5. Dorchester = 4,728 people per pharmacy

Salisbury is not only the area with the worst access to pharmacies in the South West, it also tops the list across the entire UK. 

5 of the top 10 worst areas for pharmacy access in the UK are located in the South West of England.

The 5 best areas in Yorkshire and The Humber

Postcode area Area covered Population Households Total Pharmacies Open Pharmacies Per 100,000 People People Per Pharmacy
BD Bradford 578374 223952 221 38 2617
HX Halifax 160137 68980 56 34 2859
HD Huddersfield 262843 111694 87 33 3021
WF Wakefield 512784 214107 156 30 3287
LS Leeds 774677 330676 229 29 3382

Bradford has the best access to pharmacies across Yorkshire with just 2,617 people per pharmacy.

The 5 worst areas in yorkshire for Pharmacy access are:

  1. Harrogate = 4,607 people per pharmacy
  2. York = 4,431 people per pharmacy
  3. Doncaster = 3,877 people per pharmacy
  4. Hull = 3,545 people per pharmacy
  5. Sheffield = 3,527 people per pharmacy

Harrogate has the worst access for pharmacies across Yorkshire and the Humber with 4,607 patients per pharmacy.

The 5 best areas in Scotland

Postcode area Area covered Population Households Total P+D Open P+D Per 100,000 People People Per P+D
ZE Lerwick 23086 9915 12 51 1923
HS Outer Hebrides 27663 12565 11 39 2514
KW Kirkwall 53132 24290 20 37 2656
PA Paisley 321350 148778 99 30 3245
DG Dumfries and Galloway 151139 67885 46 30 3285

Lewick in Scotland is the only area outside of London to appear in the top 5 of areas with the best access to pharmacies throughout the UK.

In total, Scotland has 2 areas that feature within the top 10 areas throughout the entire UK.

Scotlands worst 5 areas for Pharmacy access are:

  1. Edinburgh = 4,521 people per pharmacy
  2. Dundee = 4,453 people per pharmacy
  3. Motherwell = 4,352 people per pharmacy
  4. Kirkcaldy = 4,281 people per pharmacy
  5. Aberdeen = 4,095 people per pharmacy

Surprisingly one of Scotlands major cities, Edinburgh; tops the list of areas in Scotland with the worst access to community pharmacies.

Areas of the UK with the worst access to pharmacies

Postcode area Area covered Population Households Total Pharmacies Open Pharmacies Per 100,000 People People Per Pharmacy Region
SP Salisbury 232282 94658 39 16 5955 South West
HR Hereford 176308 75400 32 18 5509 West Midlands
RG Reading 778419 314408 150 19 5189 South East
SN Swindon 458798 191252 92 20 4986 South West
SO Southampton 665472 276330 135 20 4929 South East
TA Taunton 322408 139414 67 20 4812 South West
LN Lincoln 293141 126372 61 20 4805 East Midlands
TR Truro 294061 127803 62 21 4742 South West
DT Dorchester 212796 93053 45 21 4728 South West
WR Worcester 287838 122730 61 21 4718 West Midlands
TN Tonbridge 681747 286228 147 21 4637 South East
HG Harrogate 138214 59455 30 21 4607 Yorkshire and the Humber
BA Bath 434539 183530 95 21 4574 South West
GU Guildford 726120 288537 159 21 4566 South East
EH Edinburgh 868113 389353 192 22 4521 Scotland
OX Oxford 613492 242551 136 22 4510 South East
PL Plymouth 543016 232152 121 22 4487 South West
CB Cambridge 421151 167640 94 22 4480 East of England
RH Redhill 531923 217143 119 22 4469 South East
DD Dundee 280568 128312 63 22 4453 Scotland

Salisbury, Hereford and Reading have the worst access to community pharmacies throughout the UK.

There are no areas from London that feature in the bottom 20 list.

Conclusion

Taking our findings into account, it is inevitable that some areas of the UK will find it tougher to roll out the vaccine, particularly those areas that have a larger number of people for every 1 pharmacy.

Covid-19 has already stretched our health system to it's limit. The demand for the vaccine is due to test this limit even further.

As many community pharmacies and doctors surgeries switch their attention to the national vaccine rollout, it is essential that normal 'every day' patients are not neglected, especially those with chronic conditions that require regular checkups and monthly medication.

There is a risk that the current demand for the covid vaccine among community pharmacies will simply overload certain areas of the UK. In this instance it will be regular patients that pay the price and will face delays when it comes to checkups and receiving the medicine they need.

The demand for online pharmacies in 2020 reached an all time high, according to google's own search data. This is expected to again peak in 2021 when many community phrmacies become overloaded with administering the vaccine.

Online Pharmacy demand 2020

For many people that suffer with chronic conditions it is also a safer option, particularly for individuals that require asthma treatments and high blood pressure treatments who have been advised to take extra caution during the pandemic due to the added risk of their condition. It’s also beneficial for those who might feel uncomfortable visiting a physical pharmacy for certain conditions such as those relating to sexual health or chronic conditions such as IBS, or for those requiring pain relief where they may not want to leave their home for treatment.

Research has also found that younger people are more likely to suffer from social and situational anxiety due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has also had a huge impact on the physical and mental health of the elderly with social distancing and quarantine measures resulting in a rapid increase in cognitive decline.

Many online pharmacies are now employing Pharmacy Independent Prescribers (PIPs), who are qualified to prescribe medication for practically any condition without needing to see the patient face to face.

Online pharmacies that use this method allow their customers to receive their medicine without needing to leave the house, or wait to get see their GP - something that is a ‘nice to have’ in the current climate and essential as pharmacies meet their final closure dates.

There is no doubt that Online pharmacies can help to relieve the pressure on many community pharmacies throughout the UK



Copyright © 2021 Pharmacorp LTD. All rights reserved.