‘Be patient and respect pharmacy staff’ - CCG urge people to show same respect as other frontline workers

PUBLISHED: 11:53 03 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:05 03 April 2020

Norfolk and Waveney CCG is urging people to treat pharmacy workers with respect during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Norfolk and Waveney CCG is urging people to treat pharmacy workers with respect during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Treat pharmacy workers with respect and only order the medicines you need, say health bosses as high street stores face growing pressure during the coronavirus pandemic.

The chief officer of the county’s pharmaceutical committee has said a “small minority” of people have caused upset to staff as they deal with high levels of prescriptions and customers.

The Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commission Group (CCG) has said pharmacies have had to take a number of measures, including closing their doors at some points during the day to allow staff to dispense medicine safely following an influx in prescription medicines.

Tony Dean, chief officer of Norfolk Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC), said: “We are hugely grateful to the overwhelming majority of our patients and customers who are respectful of the challenges we are facing, and who show gratitude to our teams. However, sadly the challenging behaviour of a small minority is extremely upsetting to hard-working staff who are putting themselves at risk to maintain services. Our ask is that the public respect these decisions and support our pharmacy teams at this challenging time.”

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There is a restriction on supplies for paracetamol, hand sanitisers and formula milk to ensure everyone can have supplies.

Michael Dennis, head of medicines optimisation at NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG, said: “Like all parts of the NHS, community pharmacies are facing huge challenges as a result of Covid-19. Due to the increasing pressures on them, many pharmacies are having to take steps to cope with the increase in demand and to ensure the safety of their staff and customers.”

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Members of the public are asked to:

• Avoid pharmacies if you are showing symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19). If you have a dry, persistent cough, fever or shortness of breath, please don’t go to your local pharmacy.

• Be patient: All pharmacies are under immense pressure and working around the clock to ensure you get what you need.

• Respect pharmacy staff: They are providing NHS services and deserve the same respect as any other frontline NHS worker.

• Order medicines and purchase products as normal: There are enough medicines for everyone, so long as everyone orders the prescriptions and buys the medicines they really need. Trying to buy too much causes problems for more vulnerable people in our communities.

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