Number of confirmed cases in Scotland – 266
Number of people tested – 6772
NHS CALLS FOR FORMER PHARMACISTS TO RE-REGISTER
The NHS has called upon former pharmacy professionals, alongside doctors, nurses and other health professionals, to re-register and help in tackling the greatest global health threat in the history of the health service. The plans are part of the extensive work to date to prepare for the likely health effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the General Pharmaeutical Council (GPhC) has confirmed the body’s commitment to playing its part in helping with this initiative.
‘These are challenging times and the GPhC is committed to playing its part in helping to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘We realise people may have questions about the temporary registration process and we will be publishing more information on this soon.
‘We will continue to work closely with the NHS, Chief Pharmaceutical Officers across Great Britain, the Department for Health and Social Care and other regulators to help meet the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic together.’
The GPhC has said that it has powers to temporarily register fit, proper and suitably experienced people to act as pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to help protect public health in the event of an emergency.
It is therefore contacting former pharmacy professionals who have left the register in the last three years with up-to-date skills and experience and who may be able to help. This includes people who have voluntarily removed themselves, or were removed for non-renewal from the GPhC register in the last three years.
£350M FOR COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY COVID-19
The Scottish Government has revealed that it is providing an additional £350 million to those most affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell has announced that the funding will be made available to councils, charities, businesses and community groups and designed to be flexible, cutting down on red tape to enable them to respond swiftly and according to local need for people impacted economically or through reduced contact with society, including anyone struggling to access food.
‘This pandemic will disrupt lives like never before and cause financial hardship and negatively impact on our wellbeing,’ Ms Campbell said. ‘Be assured, however, that protecting and supporting people during these unparalleled times is the absolute focus of this government.
‘Our funding package will be focused on delivery, not bureaucracy or red tape. Local authorities, local businesses, community groups and the third sector know and understand the support needs of their communities the best. Where people and organisations have solutions or ideas, I want to hear them.
‘Unless we work with local partners the impact of our investment will not be felt by those that need it most. So my message today is – if we can help you to help the people of Scotland then we will.’
GPHC BLASTS ‘PROFITEERING IN DIFFICULT TIMES’
General Pharmaceutical Council Chief Executive, Duncan Rudkin, has issued the following statement in response to reports of some instances of raised prices and locum rates during the COVID-19 pandemic:
‘Like many people I am hugely impressed by the care and professionalism being shown by so many pharmacy professionals, pharmacy teams and pharmacy owners, pulling out all the stops to look after people. Thank you.
‘By contrast, the actions of a small minority are raising concerns and anger within the profession itself and more widely. Profiteering to take selfish advantage of the current challenging situation, whether with prices of shortage products or locum rates, risks bringing the profession into disrepute at a time when public confidence generally is so fragile, and so important.’
NHS LANARKSHIRE APPEALS FOR PUBLIC’S HELP
NHS Lanarkshire is appealing for the public’s help to reduce the pressure on GP practices and community pharmacies by not requesting repeat prescriptions before they are due.
‘We understand patients are worried that they may not be able to pick up their prescription if they are self-isolating,’ said George Lindsay, Chief Pharmacist Primary Care. ‘However, there are alternative methods of collection and delivery of prescriptions, which include asking your friends and family to help out.
‘Requesting repeat prescriptions before they are due is an unnecessary added pressure on practice staff and pharmacies, and it is having an adverse effect on the reliability of the service. Many pharmacies are experiencing extreme demand with patients queuing in the pharmacies and outside and this presents a further infection risk for everyone. Pharmacists are having to close their doors to manage these risks which is completely unprecedented, but an entirely necessary health and safety response. We’ve had cases of older people waiting outside pharmacies in long queues and there is no need for this if normal prescription ordering patterns can be restored.
‘Together, we must all only use services for their core purpose and when they are genuinely required. That will allow us to return to a more normal demand and provide services in a far better way for everyone.
‘Our teams are working flat out to cope with demand,’ added pharmacist Farhan Khan from Deans Pharmacy in Wishaw. ‘We have reduced staff numbers due to people having to self-isolate. There is no shortage of medicines and no need for patients to order prescriptions early or stockpile medication.’