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Testing for COVID-19
Click here to be redirected to our dedicated Covid 19 testing page for national and local information
Letter to MPs across Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen, & Lancashire
CPL last week wrote to all our Members of Parliament (MPs) raising the issue that community pharmacists and their teams are facing . A copy of the letter can be can be found at here.
Legitimate Movement Letter
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and GPhC have produced a letter that pharmacy staff can use to help verify their right to legitimate movement as a key healthcare worker with law enforcement teams, should this be required: https://tinyurl.com/wdafees
Updated PHE Posters – published 10th April 2020
Public Health England (PHE) have updated the set of posters for use in pharmacies. These include:
- An updated poster that should be displayed so it is visible to people seeking to enter the premise
- A poster to advise on maintaining a 2m distance from others
- A poster pharmacies can use if they are working behind closed doors for part of the day
These can all be downloaded from the PHE campaign resources hub. https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101/resources/5015
Any previously issued posters should be removed from display and be replaced by the above
Pharmacies with printers are advised to print out the print-friendly black-and-white version. PSNC have requested HM Government to print and distribute colour copies of these posters to pharmacies and is waiting for a response.
NHS Volunteer Responders
750,000 people have signed up to support vulnerable people through this programme. This provides a rich seam of voluntary support which is there to help you in your community efforts at this time
Care for your pharmacy so that pharmacy can care for you – campaign
CPL has begun a local media campaign to highlight the role that you and your teams are playing at this very difficult time in your communities to ensure the safe supply of medicines to your communities.
The campaign called “Care for your pharmacy so that pharmacy can care for you” is planned to run for three months to help and support you in working with your communities.
The first message was a direct result of feedback from yourselves about the cases of abusive behaviour that you and your teams have had to experience from a few members of the public, this is not acceptable. We have produced a poster should you wish to display this in your window
For those of you with social media accounts here are three additional graphics based on Caring for…… If you have time can you share this on your media channels to support the work we are doing with the press and the radio stations
The images are for contractors to use on their social media accounts
Below are a number of documents & posters to help you at this time
- Notification form for Unexpected Closure
- Checklist for Unplanned Closure
- Messages to give to patients
- Business Continuity Plan
- Door Poster – Do Not Enter
- Door Poster – Pharmacy Closed
- Door Poster – Restricted Opening
- Pharmacy Poster – Be Kind
- Pharmacy Poster – Patient Help
- Pharmacy Triage Leaflet
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for patients in 34 languages
- COVID 19 – UEC Directory of Services (DOS) Requesting DoS User Account (for Pharmacy) V2.2 – March 25th 2020
PSNC, working closely with NPA, CCA and AIM, has published guidance: https://psnc.org.uk/the-healthcare-landscape/covid19/network-resilience/ to help support and maintain the community pharmacy network during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These are unprecedented times and exceptional measures may be required to ensure patient and public safety, as well as the safety and welfare of the pharmacy team. The joint guidance therefore considers the support needed for pharmacy staff to stay well at work, in the context of opening hours, during what are likely to be increasingly difficult and stressful times.
The guidance addresses three aspects of an NHS pharmacy’s terms of service – opening hours, responsible pharmacist and unplanned (emergency) closures – with advice given on how best to address each going forwards.
Find the guidance in PSNC’s network resilience page.
Change Grow Live
Information on coronavirus from Change Grow Live can be found on their website: https://www.changegrowlive.org/advice-info/coronavirus
Coronavirus: Guidance for Community Pharmacy contractors
What contractors and pharmacy teams can do now
Contractors and pharmacy teams can take the following actions to ensure they are well prepared:
- Read the NHSE&I guidance (see section below) and implement its recommended actions regarding preparing for COVID-19
- Clearly display the COVID-19 posters (see section below) at points of entry to your pharmacy and near the medicines counter
- Read your business continuity plan and consider whether it needs to be updated to reflect the current and emerging situation
- Keep up to date with developments by regularly checking the information on COVID-19 on GOV.UK and checking your NHSmail shared mailbox on a regular basis for updates from NHSE&I
- Where possible, display the public health advice posters on hand washing etc
Community pharmacies are advised to display TWO PHE posters so they are visible to people seeking to enter the premises (as of 11.03.20): https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101/resources/5015
Supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Gloves, aprons and face masks should be ordered via normal wholesalers in small quantities. These supplies should be used only by pharmacy staff, and not sold to the public. Following discussion with PSNC, DHSC and NHSE&I have been working with Public Health England (PHE) to ensure that wholesalers’ stocks are replenished from the national PHE supplies. Free of charge packs of PPEs will also be sent to pharmacies later this week or early next week.
The guidance on use of PPE is still that it only needs to be used if you are entering a room in an emergency, where an infected/possibly infected patient is isolated and when decontaminating a room where such a patient has been present (in this case the PPE is to protect the worker from the cleaning products being used). As a consequence of this, the need for community pharmacies to have to use PPE, at this time, is low. Wherever possible, a patient presenting in the pharmacy with possible COVID-19 infection should be immediately told to return home and then access NHS 111 online or call NHS 111 (calling being a secondary option to online access) in order that the pharmacy does not have the increased risk of dealing with an isolated patient in the consultation room and the subsequent need for decontamination.
PSNC COVID 19
The PSNC COVID 19 page can be found at: https://psnc.org.uk/the-healthcare-landscape/covid19/
More useful links
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for employees, employers and businesses https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
- Key worker Guidance for schools and a template letter for staff to use can be downloaded here. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
- GOV.UK – For the latest government advice for health professionals. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/wuhan-novel-coronavirus
- GPHC – The latest news, including support and regulatory support can be accessed here. https://www.pharmacyregulation.org/news
- RPS – For news and support visit the RPS website https://www.rpharms.com/coronavirus