The government has published an action plan detailing how it will handle the potential spread of the Covid – 19 Coronavirus in the UK.
This document sets out what the UK has done so far, and what plans are in place to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, based on current experience dealing with other infectious diseases and influenza pandemic preparation work.
What contractors and pharmacy teams can do now:
Contractors and pharmacy teams would be advised to take the following actions to ensure they are well prepared:
- Read the NHSE&I guidance and implement its recommended actions regarding preparing for COVID-19;
- COVID-19 posters could be displayed at points of entry to your pharmacy and near the medicines counter;
- Read your business continuity plan and consider whether it needs to be updated to reflect the current and emerging situation;
- Keep up to date with developments by regularly checking the information on COVID-19 on GOV.UK and checking your NHSmail shared mailbox on a regular basis for updates from NHSE&I.
Please refer to the PSNC hub page here for further information.
Business continuity plan
As there is an increased likelihood of the Covid-19 Coronavirus having more of an impact in the next few weeks, contractors are advised to give particular attention to the plan in place in the likelihood of 1 or more members of the pharmacy team being absent, including possibly the regular Pharmacist.
If you have vulnerable patients such as those who are housebound, or needing supervised opiate consumption, please consider how you would manage these patients, under such difficult circumstances.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ business continuity template available for these scenarios as each pharmacy is different. The LPC recommends giving serious consideration as to how you would maintain services during a period of extreme challenges such as the Covid-19 virus.
The GPHC have published a joint statement with other statutory regulators of health and care professionals about how they will continue to regulate in light of the coronavirus (Covid-19).
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the GPHC have also published a statement regarding their change in approach to inspections of pharmacies.