This article focuses on screening through community pharmacies. Pharmacies provide a small proportion of screening nationally despite the assumption that community pharmacies are ideal for undertaking chlamydia screening. This article reports on semistructured interviews undertaken with a sample of ten pharmacists offering chlamydia screening in Greenwich to understand the issues facing pharmacists in offering chlamydia screening.
Participants had a good awareness of the importance of chlamydia infection and the need for screening. The majority were supportive of it. Some were concerned about approaching some younger individuals. Many pharmacists only raised opportunistically free chlamydia screening when customers were attending for emergency hormonal contraception. The pharmacists felt it was more challenging to discuss chlamydia screening with customers attending for non-sexual health-related services. The local chlamydia screening program had undertaken other initiatives, including mail outs. Some pharmacists had broached the subject of chlamydia screening but had discovered customers already had a screening pack at home.
These findings have highlighted challenges in opportunistically offering chlamydia screening to young people in community pharmacies. These challenges can be overcome by combining training and service innovation to capitalize on the potential of community pharmacies to contribute to this essential sexual health service.