Layer 1

COVID-19: PDA urges government to supply PPE for pharmacy teams

The PDA has called for better advice for pharmacy teams on protecting themselves from COVID-19
The PDA has called for better advice for pharmacy teams on protecting themselves from COVID-19

The government must “ensure” pharmacies receive personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect against COVID-19, the PDA has said in a letter yesterday (March 26).

The Pharmacists' Defence Association (PDA) said in its open letter to health secretary Matt Hancock that pharmacists are “as exposed [to the virus] as GPs, if not more so”, and that the sector has become the “front line” healthcare service since the outbreak.

The organisation is “concerned” that pharmacies are not being provided with “necessary PPE to protect teams”, and that advice given by Public Health England (PHE) “is not sufficient” it said.

“This failure to protect pharmacy staff cannot be allowed to continue,” the PDA added. It acknowledged that some pharmacy branches are encouraging staff to wear PPE, although pointed out that some are not.

The organisation asked Mr Hancock to “end this inconsistent approach to the protection of the pharmacy workforce”.

It urged him to “ensure that all pharmacies receive sufficient quantity and quality PPE to protect them from infection and…that PHE revises its guidance to take account of the risks now being faced by pharmacists in reality”.

Official guidance is to “maintain distance”

Community pharmacists should only wear PPE if it is unavoidable to be in a room with a patient suspected of having the virus, according to standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by NHS England & NHS Improvement on March 22.

Pharmacists should “maintain distance rather than wearing PPE all the time”, NHS England & NHS Improvement deputy director for pharmacy commissioning Dr Jill Loader said in a webinar advising community pharmacy on the COVID-19 outbreak on Wednesday (March 25).

PSNC pushing for PPE in pharmacies

Chief executive officer of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) Simon Dukes said the negotiating body is “pushing” NHS England and PHE to “re-visit their guidelines and guidance on how frontline pharmacy should be using PPE” in a digital press conference yesterday (March 26).

In doing so, Mr Dukes hopes to “get more of that equipment out to the frontline”, he said.

6 Comments
Question: 
Do you think more PPE should be provided for pharmacy teams?

Nick Crossley,

This is two weeks late. Pharmacy teams desperate for this but even the daily mail had an article on community pharmacists not getting PPE and that was 24 march

Also in the letter why are pda parroting boots PR line that they ordered PPE for their staff? Do pda speak for boots now? Has the PPE turned up yet? Are all staff wearing it? Nope...

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

Oh dear, Should have studied harder at college........

A B, Community pharmacist

Pharmacies will be below many others in the line for getting PPE. All hospital staff, GPs, nurses, HCAs, community care workers, care home workers and some others I've probably missed.

Then if we do want/need to wear it all of the time we'll need millions of pieces e.g. one mask per person per day (depending on mask quality) for every patient facing member of the pharmacy for every community pharmacy for the next 3 months (or longer?). There isn't enough to go around.

Joan Richardson, Locum pharmacist

Maintain distance?  How on earth are we supposed to do that?  We take prescription forms from patients in order to dispense them, we hand medication out to patients, we explain directions, demonstrate inhaler technique as necessary, take in repeat slips to take to surgeries.  I wish that my arms were 2 metres long!

I wonder if the lady who made the comment has ever been inside a community pharmacy.

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

DOCTOR Jill Loader... I bet she isn't standing in a small room with all and sundry without wearing PPE. Hypocrisy taken to new depths.
Obviously completely ignorant of Community Pharmacy. If you don't know your topic, resign and let someone who knows take over

V K P, Community pharmacist

"Community pharmacists should only wear PPE if it is unavoidable to be in a room with a patient suspected of having the virus, according to standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by NHS England & NHS Improvement on March 22."

So we should still be seeing patients face to face, when the GPs having already hidden behind phone calls and closed the doors on the patients. Even  after the phone conversation the GPs are advising the patients to go to the pharmacy.  For What??? so what is the point of the GPs getting 300 masks, gloves and aprons as PPE package when they are hidding behind closed doors???  the PPE will not stop cyber attacks. And Now the GPs want pharmacy to help provide flu jabs. too little to late.

Job of the week

Pharmacist Manager
Wrexham, North Wales
Great salary + bonus