The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales has called on the Welsh Health Minister to take further action to support pharmacy teams amid growing pressures from the COVID-19 virus.
The calls to action have been made at a time when the Prime Minister has called for extraordinary emergency measures to be taken and following the First Minister for Wales’ announcement for steps to be taken to shield patients at the highest risk from COVID-19.
In a letter to Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services, RPS Wales has asked for assurances on a number of urgent issues. These include the need for ongoing and adequate supplies of personal protective equipment for community pharmacy teams and clear plans for COVID-19 testing for front line pharmacy staff.
The Welsh Government has also been asked to sustain public messaging about the appropriate use of healthcare services, including community pharmacy. Absolute clarity has been called for to ensure the public are clear about when they should and shouldn’t visit a community pharmacy and how social distancing measures should be used when attending any pharmacy.
The approach to the Welsh Health Minister builds on the RPS policy asks for dealing with the COVID-19 virus.
Commenting on the pharmacy profession’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, RPS Director for Wales, Elen Jones said:
“The RPS is incredibly proud of the way the profession is responding to the demands of the COVID-19 virus but we are acutely aware of how this is impacting on the profession on the front line.
The role of community pharmacy is becoming ever more important in the fight against this virus and in maintaining the supply of medicines to patients across Wales. The continued support of the Welsh Government for pharmacy teams across Wales is now critical.
We fully welcome the support already given to pharmacy teams by the Welsh Government and will continue to work closely with the Health Minister and his officials to support the profession and patients during this important time”