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An emergency task force – formed of willing locum pharmacists – is ready to provide help in the fight against Covid-19, the Pharmacists Defence Association (PDA) has said.

“These pharmacists have been put ‘on standby’ and are available to help, should they be called on,” the PDA said in a statement on Tuesday (May 3).

The Association reached out to it’s locum pharmacist members who expressed interest in being the task force to form a pool of what it called “the most adaptable, mobile and versatile pharmacists.”

The PDA said over 700 pharmacists had now registered their interest in the scheme, which was initiated in April to form the task force.

A list of works which have already been raised by various UK CCGs and health boards include:

  • Supporting an intensive period of large-scale patient telephone contacts to manage issues like:
    • Calling up patients to ask that they return unnecessary unused items such as inhalers in the event of critical shortages
  • Supporting a switchover of patients from high-risk medicines such as Warfarin (for which blood monitoring would be difficult) to DOACS
  • Delivering end of life equipment to a patient’s home and providing the necessary practical advice
  • Supporting centralised repeat prescribing programmes
  • Supporting the establishment of some of the Nightingale Hospital facilities
  • Supporting the national large-scale testing programme, among others.

As the operational issues become more challenging, pharmacists may be called upon to utilise their professional and clinical expertise in a range of situations.

Pharmacists who might be called upon to undertake unfamiliar or innovative roles would necessarily be provided with the appropriate training and remuneration.

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