The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has urged pharmacies to follow due procedures in the event of a closure on account of COVID-19 outbreak.
“If an NHS pharmacy decides that it needs to close for a period of time, they need to follow local NHS reporting and notification procedures and make clear to the public how long they’ll be closed for and where the nearest other pharmacy is,” said Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC in a statement.
Rudkin said the regulator is mindful of the fact that the pharmacies may need to adjust their opening hours or close for periods during the day to ensure safe dispensing and protection of the staff.
LloydsPharmacy last week introduced new opening hours and a social distancing policy in its outlets,
Rudkin also came down heavily on the reported abuse and violence on pharmacy staff.
“We are also hearing increasing numbers of reports that pharmacy staff are experiencing abuse, disorder and even violence at the hands of some of the members of the public they are trying to help. Abuse of pharmacy staff is never acceptable,” he said.
“Pharmacy is a key part of the national response and its workforce are entitled to be treated with the same respect as other key healthcare professionals.
“This is an especially challenging time for the pharmacy profession and we condemn any abuse.”