Pharmacies are currently under huge pressure to make sure everybody gets their prescriptions and to ensure that everybody visiting the pharmacy is safe.
You should not visit a pharmacy if you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus.
Healthwatch Norfolk have put together some tips on how you can help ease the pressure on pharmacies and their staff.
People have been asking for advances on their prescriptions. Excess ordering is creating a huge strain on pharmacies and their staff and creating queues and long waits. Staff have been instructed to politely decline any advance orders.
Check opening times
To allow staff time to process orders, some pharmacies have amended their opening hours. This may create queues, so remember social distancing of 2m (6ft) apart. Check websites or the pharmacy doors to find out what the opening times are.
If you can collect your prescription, do
Avoid requesting a delivery for your prescription where possible to ease the strain on staff and instead collect in person. Only request delivery where you have no-one else to ask.
Be polite and thank staff for all they are doing. Don't complain if you've had a long wait. These are difficult times for all and pharmacy staff are doing their best to take care of us.
There are now dedicated phone lines for shielding and vulnerable patients in Norfolk and Waveney to call if they need help to collect their medicines.
Vulnerable or shielding patients in Norfolk who have no-one to help them collect their medicines from a pharmacy or their GP practice can call a dedicated phone line: 0344 800 8020, Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm for support.
District hubs, being run by council staff and volunteers, will arrange for local authority drivers or volunteers to deliver medicines to the patient’s door step.
The district hubs have been coordinating medication deliveries for several weeks, however work has recently taken place to increase capacity by utilising local authority transport providers and agree to route all requests for support with medication deliveries through the dedicated phone line.
All drivers/volunteers will be DBS checked and follow strict social distancing measures. The initiative has been developed by Norfolk County Council, in collaboration with NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Norfolk Local Pharmaceutical Committee.
Vulnerable or shielding patients in Waveney who have no-one to help them collect their medicines from a pharmacy or their GP practice can call a dedicated phone line: 0800 876 6926, 7 days a week, 9am – 5pm. This arrangement forms part of Suffolk County Council’s ‘Home But Not Alone’ service.