Home Coronavirus: Help and support Pharmacy support during the coronavirus pandemic

Pharmacy support during the coronavirus pandemic

by Gemma Melling

Pharmacies across the UK, including throughout Knowsley, are working extremely hard on the NHS frontline to keep their regular services going, while also meeting vastly increased demand because of coronavirus.

Your pharmacist is still open to treat minor illnesses, helping people to manage long-term medical conditions, safely supplying medicines and providing urgent care.  With so many other health services closed or operating by phone, community pharmacy is the visible face of the NHS for the majority of the population that does not currently have coronavirus.

With the increased demand, you may notice some changes to your local pharmacy services, such as their opening times.  Some pharmacies close in the middle of the day to allow the premises to be thoroughly cleaned and get through the backlog of dispensing workload. It’s important that you check your pharmacy opening times before you leave the house.

Remember, don’t leave the house if you are displaying coronavirus symptoms – high temperature or new / persistent cough.

Here are some other things you can do, to help your local pharmacy:

  • Be patient: All pharmacies are under intense pressure and are working around the clock to ensure that you get what you need.
  • Be courteous to pharmacy staff even if you are stressed: they are doing their utmost to support you, so treat them as you yourself would like to be treated.
  • Order medicines and purchase products as normal, there is no need to stockpile; this will help to avoid creating difficulties for others, so that everyone in our community gets the medicines they need.
  • Give the surgery and pharmacy time to process your prescription.
  • Because people are staying at home, pharmacies have seen demand for medicines deliveries increase. Please think first: can carers, family members, neighbours and friends collect the prescription? Not all pharmacies offer home deliveries and those that do have to prioritise the most vulnerable housebound patients.
  • Look after your health by taking preventative measures such a regular handwashing, and follow official advice on social distancing and staying at home.

Cllr Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care said: “Our pharmacies across Knowsley are doing an amazing job in very challenging circumstances. They are often our first port of call if we become unwell so we need to help them and play our part by taking simple steps such as ringing in advance to check their opening times, seeing if anyone else can pick up prescriptions for us and being respectful to the staff and the valuable job they are doing.”