Posted: Fri 3rd Apr 2020

Welsh pharmacists are reporting an increase in abusive and aggressive behaviour

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Apr 3rd, 2020

The head of a body representing pharmacy staff in Wales has said members have been “verbally abused and spat at” by members of the public during the coronavirus lockdown.

Elen Jones, director of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales, has asked for members of the public to remain “respectful and patient” as staff struggle to keep up with demand for services.
There have even been reports of fights outside pharmacies, she said.

She has taken the body’s concerns to the police in a bid to put an end to the “unnacceptable aggression and abuse”.

She said: “I have been shocked to hear of pharmacy teams being verbally abused and even spat at.

“I have also heard of fights starting outside pharmacy premises. This is totally unacceptable behaviour.

“Community pharmacists and their teams are doing everything they possibly can to help in very difficult circumstances.

“They are under significant pressure and they need the help of the public so they can continue to provide vital healthcare support.

“I ask that that anyone who needs to visit a pharmacy remains patient and is respectful to pharmacy staff at this difficult time.”

Pharmacies have changed the way they work as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the society has asked for members of the public to familiarise themselves with the new regime.

Although there have been no serious incidents reported to police in North Wales yet, pharmacy staff have spoken of increased fears about aggression being shown towards them from some members of the public.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales said the new guidelines are:

-Do not visit a pharmacy if you or anyone in your household has a temperature or a new and continuous cough, even if it is mild
-Plan ahead and try to order your next prescription seven days before it is due
-Use electronic means to re-order your prescriptions if you can or use the drop off boxes outside the surgery if available. Look out for specific information from your own GP practice in case there are changes to how you get your prescription
-If you are handing in your prescription, please add relevant contact details so that the community pharmacies can let you know when your medicines are ready
-If you are self-isolating please ask family, friends or neighbours to pick up your
medication for you. If this isn’t possible, ask your community pharmacy for advice about how they can help
-If you are collecting medicines for someone take ID with you. Ensure you protect yourself and the patient by delivering the medicines safely and keeping a safe distance from each other

Jez Hemming – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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