RPS Director Robbie Turner

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) on Wednesday (September 23) has called for necessary action to properly assess the Covid-19 risk among community pharmacy teams to avert high risk transmission at the workplace.

Responding to prime minister Boris Johnson’s speech on Tuesday, the pharmacy body urged the employers to undertake appropriate risk assessments for pharmacy staff across primary and secondary care.

“The risks to the country’s health from increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases has put unprecedented demand on pharmacists across all healthcare settings. It’s more important than ever that pharmacists and their teams are kept safe as infections continue to rise,” commented Robbie Turner, Director of Pharmacy at the RPS.

“It is essential that pharmacists and their teams are properly risk assessed so those at high risk of Covid-19 transmission can be protected within the workplace. We’ve been calling for action on this on behalf of our members throughout the crisis and we expect all employers to undertake appropriate risk assessments for pharmacy staff across primary and secondary care. Lessons must be learnt from the first phase of the pandemic.”

In a bid to tackle growing number of Covid-19 cases, Johnson announced a range of new measures to combat the rapid rise in coronavirus cases in the UK.

Prime minister asked people to work from home where possible and ordered restaurants and bars to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of Covid-19, with new restrictions lasting probably six months.

Emphasizing the community pharmacists’ role in fighting Covid-19 pandemic, Johnson praised the ‘absolutely outstanding job’ that pharmacists are doing on the frontline within communities and pledged support for pharmacies and their staff.

Replying to a question in the House of Commons on Tuesday by Gareth Johnson, he said the Dartford MP is “completely right that pharmacies and chemists are in the frontline of our healthcare and do an absolutely outstanding job in testing people for all kinds of things, covid among them. We will certainly support them in any way that we can.”

Turner also stressed the need of PPE and other protective equipment at the workplace.

“Pharmacy teams must also be protected with adequate supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), quick access to testing and other safety measures, as well as support for their own mental health and wellbeing in dealing with this difficult period,” he said.

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