The government’s list of ‘key workers’ who can keep sending their children to school during the coronavirus pandemic includes pharmacists and pharmacy staff, the RPS has said.

An open letter to headteachers from RPS president, Sandra Gidley, was published last night (19 March) in response to the guidance issued by the government on which staff are to be considered ‘key workers’ during the Covid-19 crisis.

Children of these key workers can continue to attend school if they are healthy, while others are to be kept at home, in attempts to limit the spread of the virus.  

The letter, in full, reads:

To Headteachers,

RE: Key workers and the COVID-19 pandemic

The announcement from the Department for Education on 19 March on Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision notes that schools have been asked to continue to provide care for children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

This includes children of parents who work in health and social care, which covers pharmacists and their support teams, as well as those working in the health and social care supply chain, such as producers and distributors of medicines.

Pharmacists and support staff are critical to the COVID-19 response and key workers in the health service. We know that pharmacy teams are working hard on the frontline to support the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yours sincerely,

Sandra Gidley FRPharmS
Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Meanwhile, pharmacists have taken to Twitter to express their frustration over not being explicitly named on the list of ‘critical’ NHS healthcare workers.

‘Distributors of medicine’ were listed as among ‘those working as part of the health and social care supply chain’.