Thank you all for your courage and hard work in coming together to fight this virus. It is great to see news channels finally recognising the efforts that you are all putting in. Pharmacy isn’t just Pharmacists, it’s made up of a fantastic team of Techs, Dispensers, Retail Staff and delivery drivers who are under immense pressure during this time.
We have put together some key focal points that we have gathered over the last fortnight in relation to Pharmacy. You can find these below along with additional information and resources that you can avail of including posters for your Pharmacy this weekend.
Pharmacies required to open on Good Friday and Easter Monday
We have created an Easter poster for your Pharmacy which you can download by clicking here.
In other news, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) stated: “pharmacies will need to be open on Good Friday and Easter Monday as part of the wider NHS response to the pandemic.” Our understanding of the rationale for this decision is that NHSE&I expect COVID-19 infection to increase during the Easter weekend and hospitals may well look to discharge as many non-COVID-19 patients as possible into the community to free up capacity. As a result, community pharmacy services will be required at this crucial time.
PSNC has made it clear to NHSE&I that any requirements for pharmacies to be open additional hours will need to be accompanied by fair funding, and we will begin discussions on that as soon as NHSE&I are able to confirm their intentions. Read more by clicking here and here.
PPE - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Recognising that community pharmacy teams are working on the frontline of the health service, PSNC wants them to have access to whatever PPE they believe they need. As well as helping to protect customers and patients, PPE use could help pharmacy teams to work more safely together in dispensaries that are not large enough to allow staff to stay 2m apart from one another.
PSNC is still pressing NHSE&I to ensure that pharmacy teams have access to whatever PPE they need. We note that Public Health England are currently reviewing their guidance on the use of PPE and we hope this will take a sensible approach, recognising the daily risks that many pharmacy teams are taking. Want to learn more? Click here.
COVID-19 - Pharmacies could supply controlled drugs without script
Emergency measures have been proposed to give pharmacists the power to supply certain controlled drugs to patients without a prescription during the COVID-19 outbreak. These measures introduced by the home secretary Priti Patel, would allow the supply of these controlled drugs under a serious shortage protocol (SSP), which would mean patients could be treated with alternative products where prescribed items are unavailable or in short supply. drugs to patients without a prescription during the COVID-19 outbreak. The government intends to implement this legislation as soon as possible. Find out more here.