The many small acts of kindness that continue to pop up across the globe will hopefully be a major takeaway of the coronavirus pandemic. Humanity - despite what Hollywood told us in the movies Contagion and 28 days later - comes together to look after one another in the face of fear.
Yet, they continue to valiantly serve their patients and wider communities, going far above and beyond their already busy day to day duties.
Here, we highlight just a few of the impressive examples that we’ve come across of goodwill gestures - and we know there are many others out there.
Get in touch and tell us how your community pharmacy team has gone above and beyond to help your community, please email: [email protected]
Newdays Pharmacy - near Windsor - went to extreme measures so source medication for a patient
Newsdays pharmacy team worked tirelessly to get hold of anticoagulant medication for a patient in 'urgent' need.
‘Which we hadn’t been able to source the medication for a couple of weeks because of wholesalers restrictions during Covid-19’, explained pharmacy owner Oliver Picard.
‘After numerous phone calls between the wholesalers and myself, we ended up calling the manufacturer.
‘At first, the manufacturer was adamant that the product could only be sourced via the wholesaler. I then complained about the direct to pharmacy arrangement and said that arbitrary restrictions were impacting the health of patients.’
A couple of hours later, Mr Picard was personally contacted by the drug manufacturer who offered to deliver the medication to his pharmacy that day.
Despite the medication arriving after closing, Mr Picard waited and delivered the medication to his patient that same evening.
Bedminster Pharmacy in Bristol has worked on a number of things to help out their community during this pandemic.
The team are sharing their PPE and face visor supplies with local social care providers and unpaid carers. ‘They have less access, and we value them all a lot’, Ade Williams, superintendent pharmacist, explained.
The staff are also calling up their patients on a regular basis to check in and make sure they are doing okay.
‘We have always viewed ourselves as a community asset - a health and wellbeing hub - but we also realise that we can only get through this as a community by linking arms together. Community pharmacy is always at the centre of local relationships.’
The pharmacy has also been donating free sanitary products to a local food bank, who supply these products to people who are in need.
Range Pharmacy in Manchester created 50 care packages for their elderly patients.
The 50 packages were full of necessities, such as gloves, hand sanitizer, face masks and products such as vitamins. ‘We feel, as the local pharmacy, we have a duty to help people through this time. A lot of people come for advice and help, so we do take our role in taking care of people very seriously’, superintendent pharmacist Vishal Khullar said.
Mr Khullar is also working on a list of things people should be mindful of at the moment to help avoid contracting the virus, which he will post on the local community Facebook group for everyone to access.
Boulevard Pharmacy in Halifax teamed up with other community organisations to produce food packages for families in need.
The pharmacy - acting as the hub of the operation – has been putting together donated food and other essentials, such as hand sanitiser and toothpaste. The team have put together and delivered 150 of these boxes to local families within the past two weeks.
The team have also been helping patients who cannot leave the house do their weekly food shop. ‘Part of being a pharmacist is to help people in situations like this,’ said pharmacy manager, Hassan Riaz.
‘We believe it’s our job as the community pharmacy to help our patients in any way we can, we are the only frontline local medical service which people can access right now. Community pharmacy is perfectly placed to help in situations like this.’
Allisons Chemist in Cockermouth sent toiletries to their local hospital.
A bag of toiletries sent up to Cockermouth Community Hospital included toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap and shampoo - after a request on behalf of a patient receiving treatment. The director of Allisons Chemist - Nat Mitchell - said that he ‘couldn’t happily leave a patient without, especially in the circumstances.’