The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) president has asked the public to ‘be patient’ with pharmacy teams while they focus on Covid vaccinations over the coming weeks.
Professor Claire Anderson’s comments come after the NHS England told pharmacy teams they can relinquish some pharmaceutical services to increase Covid-19 vaccine delivery.
In a statement published yesterday afternoon, Ms Anderson reminded patients to order their medications ‘promptly’ and to be ‘ready for longer waits when picking up [prescriptions]’.
Pharmacies across the country are seeing an ‘incredible high demand’ meaning people may have to wait longer than normal to be seen. Because of this, RPS are calling on the public to ‘be patient when visiting their pharmacy’.
This comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced over the weekend that all over 18s would be offered a booster Covid vaccination by the end of December.
‘The ramping up of the Covid-19 booster campaign has added to the workload and many pharmacy teams are at breaking point.
‘Pharmacists and their teams are helping everyone as fast as they can, and the public can help them by remaining polite and patient when visiting their pharmacy,’ Ms Anderson explained.
In a survey, published last week, RPS found that nine in 10 pharmacy team members were at high risk of burnout, because of high levels of workplace stress.
Earlier this week, December just 1,500 community pharmacies delivered 44% of all the Covid booster jabs in England.
This has prompted pharmacy bodies and politicians to call for more pharmacy involvement to help the NHS deliver the 1m boosters a day that Boris Johnson has pledged.
Speaking alongside the prime minister and chief medical officer at a Downing Street press conference earlier this week (16 December), NHS England’s director of primary care Dr Nikki Kanani said the number of Covid-19 vaccinations delivered by community pharmacies have gone ‘absolutely through the roof’.