RPS in Scotland has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport to thank her and the First Minister for their messages of support on social media at the end of what had been an incredibly challenging and unprecedented week for pharmacy in Scotland. In the letter, RPS also shared its policy asks with the Cabinet Secretary, which outline the areas where pharmacy needs governments’ help. It also highlighted the following four issues facing pharmacy teams that require immediate action:
The need for adequate supplies of quality personal protection equipment (PPE) for pharmacy teams. It must be recognised that pharmacies are currently the only community based widespread walk-in access point for NHS Scotland right now.
COVID-19 testing to be a priority for front-line staff delivering NHS services, including primary care contractors such as community pharmacies.
Confirmation that pharmacists and their support staff are included in the ‘Key NHS workers’ criteria following announcements on new schooling arrangements.
The need for absolute clarity in public messaging around use of healthcare services including specifically naming pharmacies when talking about avoiding unnecessary visits & keeping social distancing.
In the letter, Jonathan Burton, Chair of RPS in Scotland, said: “Pharmacy teams are at the very frontline of our health service and they are going out of their way to continue to provide medicines and health advice to the public. Your messages of support came just when they were needed and will have given pharmacists’ a much-needed boost. We would encourage you to continue to show how much you value pharmacy and to take every opportunity to include them in your communications and guidance. This will not only help bolster our profession through difficult times but will also help to educate the public on what to expect from their pharmacy teams at this time.”
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