Pharmacists must have rapid access to COVID-19 testing

Responding to reports from pharmacists unable to access tests for COVID-19 and following news of Government plans to prioritise tests for NHS staff, RPS President Sandra Gidley said:

“It’s concerning that pharmacists and support staff are telling us they’re struggling to access a test for COVID-19 when they need one.

“Pharmacists are working hard on the frontline of COVID-19 deserve all the support we can give them.

“With a rising number of cases and a potential second spike in the run up to winter, the Government must prioritise tests for all pharmacists and staff delivering NHS services, including community pharmacy teams.

“We have raised this with the NHS and Department of Health and Social Care and will be closely monitoring the issue.”

If members have concerns about access to COVID-19 tests, you can contact our Professional Support Service at [email protected].

Read more about protecting your team in the pharmacy on our COVID-19 hub.


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Your dedication and commitment during the pandemic has been exceptional.

As we brace for a potential second wave of coronavirus, we know that pharmacy will be at the forefront of delivering healthcare.

Whether it’s flu vaccinations, dealing with local lockdowns or getting ready to fight a second wave, we need decisions and assurances from the Government now. We must make sure pharmacists get enough supplies of PPE and rapid access to testing in all care settings.

If the enormous mental and physical strain of the past few months is repeated ahead of this winter, the health service will be on its knees. We will be there to make sure pharmacists get mental health and wellbeing support.

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