Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Pharmacists are definitely on the frontline!

by Gino Martini

I have been helping out at Ramco Pharmacy in Old Harlow in Essex.

Mr Patel has been my local community pharmacist for over 20 years and have supported him as a patient and now more latterly as a volunteer during this COVID 19 crisis.  In return, we have agreed that Mr Patel will make a donation to Pharmacy Support.

I have to say I have been truly amazed by Mr Patel and his team at the sheer volume of prescriptions and patients that the pharmacy has experienced – to the point that 2 weeks on from the lockdown the pharmacy is still 2 days behind on the prescriptions! 

It is evident that prescriptions for 84 days supply are being prescribed despite advice not to do this –and this invariably has put a strain on medicine supplies such as inhalers,

But despite the relentless churn of prescriptions and patient enquiries I was struck at the calm and professional way that the pharmacy team have responded, stepped up and provided first class care despite the occasional stroppy patient not quite understanding that there is a pandemic on and the need for social distancing!

On a final note -I have to say I did find it incredulous that scripts from the local GP were being handed to me via an open window and yet we were expected to do our duty in the pharmacy – Pharmacists are definitely on the frontline!

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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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