Update for Contractors 20 March 2020

Thank you for your extraordinary efforts this week in dealing with the current Coronavirus crisis. We’re in unprecedented times. We are under huge pressure but the way you and your teams are responding is remarkable. The pace of change means that there may be gaps in communication from time to time;  Please bear with each other as we all try our best in this situation; and keep letting us have your feedback about how you are being impacted in the community.

We are receiving some fantastic feedback from the people of Devon and the CCG about how you are dealing with this, let’s hope the government realise the importance of community pharmacy once this ends and funds it appropriately.

I just wanted to share some general advice about some issues that we are seeing from Community Pharmacy around Devon and the wider country that will support you –
Key Worker Status – The recent update on critical workers is a real boost as it supports our colleagues during these uncertain times. In principle, any colleague who explains that they are supplying medicines to the NHS during this period will clearly be classed as critical. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
Supply Chain – we are hearing that although there is unprecedented volume, the supply chain is confirming that they are working flat out to restock
Tote Returns – We have been informed by wholesalers that they are struggling with lack of Totes. Please return all totes as these are critical to re supply
Prioritisation of supply  – Look at your patients and plan what is a priority, consider part supply and when patients had their most recent request
Staff Welfare – Consider your teams welfare; from what we are hearing in other countries this situation may be sustained for several more weeks still. We are aware that Community Pharmacies are considering closing for periods of time during the day to make sure that our teams have appropriate time to rest and also so that we can make sure that the stress levels are managed. If you do plan to close outside of your core or supplementary hours, please make sure you are following the correct process of notifying the appropriate people.  We’ve attached a document with some local key names and contacts.
Social Distancing – Lots of Pharmacies are putting in 2 m gaps for colleagues and customers, marking out with hazard tapes;  and also limiting the number of Patients in pharmacy at each time.

Business Continuity Planning – See the LPC Guide (Updated 25 March 2020)

Please look after yourselves and each other, so proud to be part of Community Pharmacy at present, we think you are amazing.