We are an independent pharmacy attached to a GP practice in a small village, with a population of around 2000 people. When the pandemic was announced, volunteers across the village co-ordinated support with the GPs and pharmacy to enable all over 60’s to receive their medicine by delivery. This immediately took care of at least half of the footfall into the pharmacy, reducing risk for patients and the pharmacy team. Each day, 000’s of prescriptions are delivered by these volunteers and due to its success, the scheme has been extended to under 16’s. These are the patients that we know are exempt from a prescription charge taking out any exchange of monies from the delivery process. All patients receive a call or text the day before their delivery to let them know it’s on its way.
Patients who have previously had their medicines delivered, perhaps because they are house-bound or who are receiving more complex treatment and controlled drugs such as opiates for pain relief, get their medicine from one of our two pharmacy delivery drivers. This support has now been extended to patients who are shielding for 12 weeks under the advice of the NHS and have more complex health conditions, where they need it.
The community’s help goes beyond delivery and each day, and in all weathers, the local village hall and car park are manned by volunteers who, using a walkie-talkie, manage a one-in, one-out entry system. This allows the pharmacy team to work efficiently and get the patient’s medicine ready. This scheme has helped us to avoid long queues and manage situations when we have fewer staff members available for work.
We’ve all pulled together; the community has gone out of its way to care for the pharmacy, so that our pharmacy can care for the community.
We’ll get through this together.