By now we understand that many people in our community can and will contract Coronavirus (covid-19). The public have a responsibility to not only the community, but hard working Pharmacy teams, to try and limit the spread of the virus. We have put together some suggestions and tips you could implement in your Pharmacy to help you along the way.
1. Creating Drop off & Collection Points
Many pharmacies have put in place dedicated prescription drop off and collection windows in pharmacies in order to manage prescriptions in an orderly & safe manner. Some pharmacies are taking extra precautions and creating barriers in the line, so that people queuing are standing 1-2 metres apart from one another.
2. Displaying Information to Reduce Confusion
Pharmacies can create signs that ask people to queue in an orderly fashion and to reassure them to not panic. By displaying information and posters on Coronavirus, it could reduce confusion and anxiety among customers, as they will be able to read the up to date advice from the relevant health authorities and will reflect the new processes that are being ruled out in Pharmacies. Click here or here for some example materials that you can use.
3. If Feeling Unwell - Look after yourself from home.
It’s difficult to do this when you are on the front line and knowing how highly in demand you are. However, it is important to look after your own health as well as the health and safety of others. If you are unwell (especially with a cough or a fever) look after yourself and don't be afraid to contact your GP or call 111 and your GP will be able to arrange a prescription for you, if necessary.
4. Try introducing intermittent Clean Downs
Why not try closing your Pharmacy at lunch time, from 1PM to 2PM, and allow time to disinfect all surfaces.Germs can spread from person to person or by touching unclean equipment or surfaces. The NHS suggests that to stop the spread of germs, you can make sure you dry surfaces after disinfecting as dampness helps remaining germs to survive, and if there is enough water, multiply.
5. Create a Contingency Plan
Don’t be afraid to make the public aware that you are only human. Politely communicate to them through social media, email and other channels, asking them to telephone the pharmacy in advance to ensure that their prescription has been received. This will save them an unnecessary trip and a long wait time by letting them know when it will be prepared and ready for collection. It will also give you more time to get it organised without feeling the pressure of anxious customers.
Whilst this is a very worrying time and a lot of people are feeling anxious, health is hugely important. Eat normally, take breaks when you can and have a positive mindset. Look out for yourselves and your neighbours, and keep continuing to deliver the high standards of care that you are already demonstrating throughout the community.