The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has called for adoption of protection and control measures to safeguard pharmacy teams against Omicron.
This follows an updated guidance on infection protection and control issued by the UK Health Security Agency, which reinforces the actions needed to prevent transmission of Covid-19 and other respiratory viruses.
RPS president professor Claire Anderson said: “As our understanding of the Covid-19 pandemic evolves and new evidence emerges, we must keep pace with infection control risk assessments to keep staff as safe as possible in the pharmacy.
“As Omicron is so transmissible, it’s vital that measures are in place to protect staff health and help minimise staff absences, which have such an impact on workplace pressure and patient care.”
She noted that health and care staff have worked hard to provide patient care over the past 21 months, and now employers and the NHS must ensure that “pharmacy teams receive the support and protection they deserve in the workplace.”
“This includes adapting to individual needs, as well as making sure that broader rules around social distancing, ventilation and use of appropriate PPE are all in place and being observed.”
She added that PCR and LFT testing should be prioritised for all those working across health care services.
“Both employers and employees have a duty of care and responsibility to protect each other, we hope that by revisiting risk assessments and infection control measures action will be taken to ensure staff are protected.”
RPS has also issued a guidance that includes latest information about risk assessments, PPE and social distancing to help protect pharmacy teams.