Telford pharmacy manager speaks of pressures amid coronavirus crisis
A pharmacy manager says the coronavirus outbreak is bringing “intense pressure” but staff are “rising to the challenge”.
Nigel Dugmore, who manages Donnington Pharmacy, said the co-ordinated national round of applause for NHS staff was “emotional” and a reminder that they are appreciated.
He said the demand for prescription deliveries has increased, but advised patients in self-isolation to send a friend or family member out to collect medicine to reduce the strain on the service.
The 58-year-old, who also represents Muxton on Telford and Wrekin Council and is deputy leader of the authority’s opposition Conservative group, said prescription rates were up across the board and has suggested that the local authority delays grass-cutting to reduce the demand for inhalers for hay fever sufferers.
Cllr Dugmore has worked at the Wrekin Drive pharmacy since it opened in 2013 and has more than 30 years’ experience in the sector.
He said: “The NHS has suspended all extended services like treating ear, nose, throat, skin, eye and urinary tract infections so pharmacies can focus on core services of prescriptions and medicine sales.
“Generally people are observing social distancing guidance.
“All staff are now wearing masks and gloves. We have installed a barrier to reinforce social distancing. The has have provided masks, gloves and aprons, and I have purchased medical scrubs for all staff.
“There has been a significant increase in prescription items even though doctors do not prescribe greater quantities than normal, as instructed.
“Medicine shortages are occurring, mainly children’s paracetamol and some inhalers, due to reduced supplies from India and Italy.
“Indeed I have suggested that Telford and Wrekin Council delay grass cutting to reduce the pressure on inhaler supplies as we are at the start of the hay fever season.
“The demand for prescription deliveries has increased as expected due to self-isolation. If those self-isolating can get a friend or neighbour to collect their prescription that will help to ease the pressure on delivery services.
“While the pressure has been intense we have maintained our service and will rise to the challenges ahead. The staff have been fantastic, and I couldn’t have asked more from them. It was quite emotional to hear the applause from the public last Thursday evening and nice to feel appreciated.”
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