Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has urged the government to extend greater occupational health support for all pharmacists, in line with arrangements for GPs and dentists during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a letter to Pharmacy Minister Jo Churchill, RPS President Sandra Gidley said pharmacists across Britain should be empowered to make simple substitutions without the patient going back to the prescriber as it would help to manage potential medicine shortages, save patients time and reduce GP workload.
Gidley’s letter follows an open letter from the minister earlier this month, recognising the outstanding response of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and their teams during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Commenting on prescription charges Gidley added: “The collection of prescription charges, during a time of added pressure, is an unnecessary bureaucratic burden on pharmacy teams. Suspending prescription charges would reduce risk of transmission of Covid-19 and support people struggling to cope with reduced incomes.”
Sharing her concern on lack of supply of personal protection equipment (PPE), the RPS president said it was still difficult for many pharmacies to access adequate protective kit, adding “we want to ensure pharmacy teams can readily order PPE through the electronic portal, so they can focus on patient care.”
Calling for a fairer funding for community pharmacy, she noted: “The advance payment to support cash flow for community pharmacies is a short term-term patch and must be backed up with longer-term funding.”