Community pharmacy teams have been advised to remain alert to many forms of abuse and neglect that their patients may face during the second of Covid-19.

The Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group (CPPSG) today (Nov 4) launched guidance to support community pharmacy professionals safeguard patients throughout the ongoing pandemic.

The guidance highlights safeguarding issues which pharmacy teams should be aware of, and the steps they should take if they suspect abuse or neglect.

The guidance covers how some patients could become more vulnerable to abuse and neglect as a direct result of the changes caused by the pandemic, such as by due to increased amounts of social isolation, decrease in accessibility of home health care and support, and more time at home leading to a surge in reports of domestic abuse.

“As the second wave continues, pharmacy teams must remain vigilant to abuse and neglect,” Janice Perkins, chair of the CPPSG and pharmacy superintendent at Well, said.

“They should remember abuse can come in many forms. It could include neglect, physical, emotional, economic or sexual abuse as well as online grooming and coercive control, and anyone can be affected.”

In a statement, the CPPSG said pharmacy teams have already played a crucial role in safeguarding patients during the pandemic, including setting up safe spaces in their consultation rooms; supporting people experiencing domestic violence and abuse; updating medicine delivery processes; and encouraging delivery drivers to escalate concerns.

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