Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) are responsible for developing a regular Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) for their area. Previously, NHS Primary Care Trusts carried out these routine assessments which act as a guide for people wishing to open new pharmacies or dispensaries in Cumbria, or if existing pharmacies wish to expand.

The main aim of the PNA is to assess if current pharmacy services are meeting the needs of the local population.  A PNA describes community pharmacy services currently being provided in a specific area, identifying where and when these are available; and it assesses current and future health needs of the local population.

Essentially, the PNA assesses the local health needs in the area and helps to identify the need for pharmacy services.  The PNA supports the HWB and partners to target services; it has been used by NHS England when assessing new pharmacy applications and informs services commissioned in both North and South Cumbria.  NHS North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB); and NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board took on delegated responsibility for the commissioning of pharmaceutical services from NHS England on the 1 July 2022. The ICBs will therefore use the PNA to determine routine applications under the NHS Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Regulations 2013.

The following information is considered by the PNA:

  • Demography and the local population;
  • Geography, access and travel times;
  • Whether there is sufficient choice with regard to obtaining pharmaceutical services;
  • The different needs of the different areas across Cumberland; and Westmorland and Furness;
  • The pharmaceutical services provided in neighbouring HWB areas;
  • Whether further provision of pharmaceutical services would secure improvements or better access to pharmaceutical services of a specified type across Cumberland; and Westmorland and Furness;
  • Other NHS services provided in or outside Cumbria (not covered above) which affect the need for pharmaceutical services;
  • Likely future needs;
  • Cumbria’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)

Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment 2023

Both the Cumberland Health and Wellbeing Board and the Westmorland and Furness Health and Wellbeing Board have produced local Pharmaceutical Needs Assessments (PNAs) outlining services which will help to ensure residents have good access to local pharmacy services.  This is a statutory HWB responsibility as set out under the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services Regulations) 2013 (SI 2013 No. 349).  The last PNA for former Cumbria was published in October 2022 and although there is a requirement to update the PNA every 3 years, new PNAs are required following the establishment of the newly formed Cumberland Council and Westmorland & Furness Council.

Supplementary Statements

Cumberland Health and Wellbeing Board

Supplementary Statement 1; 15-01-24

Westmorland and Furness Health and Wellbeing Board

Supplementary Statement 1; 03-02-24

Supplementary Statement 2; 10-02-24

Pharmaceutical Services Map

In accordance with Regulation 4(2) Cumbria HWB have produced a map that identifies the premises at which pharmaceutical services are provided within the area of the HWB. This map will be kept up-to-date, in so far as is practicable, without needing to republish the whole PNA document or publish a supplementary statement. This map is available via the following link:


Pharmaceutical Services Map



Cumbria’s previous PNAs can be viewed via the links below: