Responding to a letter sent to all community pharmacies in Wales that details the Welsh Government’s initial response to Covid-19, Chair of the RPS in Wales Suzanne Scott Thomas said:
“We welcome this update from the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer. Earlier this week the Royal Pharmaceutical society outlined key calls to action that governments and the NHS across Great Britain should adopt to support the profession at this time. We’re pleased that the steps outlined by the Welsh Government addresses and responds to some of those issues"
“This is a very challenging time for the community pharmacy network with resources being stretched significantly. That is why we made an urgent call for a flexible approach to contract requirements. We are therefore pleased that the Welsh Government have taken positive steps to build further capacity.
We are pleased to see a commitment to protect pharmacy teams by enabling phone consultations for all enhanced services where appropriate and issuing personal protective equipment to all community pharmacy teams. Protecting staff must be priority and we believe steps must go further;
- Testing for the virus among pharmacy teams and all frontline healthcare workers must be a government priory.
- We’re also seeking assurances that additional measures are put in place to protect the physical safety of pharmacists and their teams.
“Patient access to medicines may become increasingly problematic in coming weeks. Consequently, we’re pleased that the Welsh Government has taken the important step to advise Health Boards to extend the commissioning of the Emergency Medicine Supply (EMS) service to all pharmacies with access to the Choose Pharmacy application. It is also encouraging that Welsh Government have committed to supporting pharmacies to manage prescription workload and reducing footfall into community pharmacies.
“In summary, this is a positive first step from the Welsh Government to support the profession at this time. More steps will however be needed to support pharmacists across all sectors in the coming weeks and months.”
“Finally, I’d like to thank all members of the profession in Wales for your invaluable work. Although it is a difficult time, as pharmacists we have a critical role to play to support patients, the public and each other. The RPS in Wales will continue to listen to your concerns and highlight them to both the Welsh and UK governments, ensuring that your voice is heard. Thank you for your incredible work.”