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RPS Scotland welcomes recognition of community pharmacy and calls for mental health and wellbeing support

RPS in Scotland has welcomed the additional £5.5 million announced yesterday by the Scottish Government which will be allocated to community pharmacies to help them cope with increased pressures during the coronavirus outbreak.

Chair of the Scottish Pharmacy Board, Jonathan Burton, said: “I’m really pleased to see the Cabinet Secretary and Scottish Government recognise the exceptional work being done in community pharmacies across Scotland. This additional funding to help with the exceptional circumstances we are currently facing, is most welcome.”

In her address, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, said: “I want to thank all community pharmacy teams for their incredible hard work throughout this pandemic. They are doing an invaluable job to ensure people continue to receive vital medicines and care through this period of unprecedented challenge for the NHS.”

The Cabinet Secretary also announced that community pharmacies have been asked to remain open on Good Friday and Easter Monday, where it is possible to do so.

Jonathan Burton added: “It’s understandable that pharmacy teams are being asked to stay open over the public holidays.  You are providing essential services for the public during these uncertain times.  However, it is likely that you will be feeling exhausted, anxious and stressed, so please make sure you take care of yourselves and each other.”

RPS Scotland has been calling for pharmacy teams to have parity with NHS staff for access to mental health and wellbeing support.  Following positive developments in England, it is hoped that a suitable arrangement can also be made in Scotland.

Jonathan Burton said: “At this time, more than ever, it is essential that pharmacy teams are able to access mental health and wellbeing support.  They are going well beyond what is expected and are working flat out to make sure the public can access the medicines and health advice that they need.  There is a very real danger that some are at risk of burnout and work related stress, so we are calling on the Scottish Government to make sure that support is available when needed.”

RPS support will be available on Good Friday and Easter Monday and more resources are available on our wellbeing hub: https://www.rpharms.com/covidwellbeing

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