Community pharmacies across Teesside are currently seeing unprecedented demand for services during the Covid-19 pandemic. Local health officials are asking patients and members of the public to take some very simple steps to help support pharmacies and ensure that everyone continues to get the medicines, help and support they need.
To help pharmacies to cope under the increasing pressure, Dr Janet Walker, Medical Director, NHS Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: ‘There are simple measures we can take to support our local community pharmacies.
‘Avoid pharmacies if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19: If you have a dry, persistent cough, fever or shortness of breath. Be patient, all pharmacies are under immense pressure and working around the clock to ensure that you get what you need and please order medicines as normal. There is no need to stockpile medicines or order extra prescriptions and buy more over the counter medicines than you need.’
Other helpful steps include letting your pharmacist know if you no longer need a prescription before it is dispensed to save the NHS time and money.
Dr Walker added: “Community pharmacy teams are a really important part of the NHS, and like all other NHS workers they are under immense pressure at the moment. Pharmacies are open for patients but hours may be reduced because of some of the teams becoming sick themselves. Also please be aware that some items may be out of stock but pharmacies will do their best to replenish whatever they have as soon as they can. If there are limits in place on certain items, it’s so that everyone can buy what they need.’
To check the opening times of your local pharmacy visit www.nhs.uk click on “services near you” and select ‘pharmacy’.