As demand for pharmacy services rapidly increases due to the on-going coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, LloydsPharmacy, which operates around 1,500 pharmacies across the UK, has announced new measures to ensure they can continue to support the heath needs of the community.
From today (March 20th), there will be a change to opening hours to ensure pharmacy staff are able to manage the increased demand and continue to supply much needed medicines without disruption.
In addition to ensuring all pharmacies continue to operate effectively during this hectic time, the new measures will also help to protect the health and wellbeing of frontline pharmacy staff so they can continue to serve the community.
Kevin Birch, chief retail officer, comments: “Our pharmacy teams have been experiencing an unprecedented demand for their services as the Covid-19 incidence increases. Our priority is to ensure we continue to meet this increase in demand and support the health and wellbeing of our customers during this difficult time. It is therefore vital that we introduce measures to protect our vulnerable patients as well as our colleagues. As a community healthcare provider we are continually monitoring the situation as it evolves to ensure we are offering the best care to all.”
From today, stores will open an hour later than usual, which for many stores will be 10am, and will close for the last hour of the day, which is typically between 5pm-6pm, however, stores with late opening will differ. These changes are to enable pharmacy teams to prepare prescriptions. To enable the healthcare teams to have a scheduled break, all stores will also close for a lunchbreak, typically between 1pm and 2pm.
In addition to the new opening times, LloydsPharmacy is introducing a two-metre social distance policy between pharmacist and customer and are allowing pharmacists to restrict, temporarily the number of patients in any one store to maintain health and safety.
As front-line health workers, LloydsPharmacy is strictly following the government advice around self-isolation for any staff who may be experiencing symptoms.
Kevin continues: “LloydsPharmacy’s healthcare teams in the community are working harder than ever to ensure people can continue to get the products, services and medicines they need. We are there to support people with their healthcare needs as best we can. For those who cannot collect prescriptions in person due self-isolation or social distancing, Echo is a free app where patients or their carers can order and arrange to have their NHS repeat prescriptions delivered to their door.”