Personal protective practices and pharmacy services delivery by community pharmacists during COVID-19 pandemic: Results from a national survey

Syed Tabish R. Zaidi, Syed Shahzad Hasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Coronavirus disease (COVID19) has adversely affected the delivery of various health services. Little is known about the impact of COVID19 on pharmacy services across the United Kingdom (UK). We surveyed community pharmacists across the UK to understand their protective practices, professional and general wellbeing, and the delivery of pharmacy services during the COVID19 pandemic. Methods: Community pharmacists were invited to participate in a cross-sectional survey via the nationwide weekly newsletter of Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee and the local pharmaceutical committees during the second week of May 2020. The survey remained open for 4 weeks. Results: A total of 206 pharmacists responded to the survey with representations from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The majority of pharmacists (>75% or above) reported an increase in customer traffic to their pharmacy and were asking relevant questions from patients with flu-like symptoms before signposting them to the appropriate care. Most pharmacists (>85%) were maintaining a safe distance of 2 m from customers and 72% were wearing an N95 protective mask and 28% were using protective gloves and apron in addition to safe distancing and protective masks. Ninety-nine percent of pharmacists reported drug shortages with 38% and 26% reported significant drug shortages and critical drug shortages causing disruptions beyond over the counter medicines. Eighty-nine percent pharmacists reported inappropriate behaviour from patients or carers with 31% and 16% reported it to be a regular or frequent problem, respectively. Fifty-three% of pharmacists were willing to offer their assistance for mass testing of COVID19 antibodies if adequate training and reimbursement are provided.Conclusion: Community pharmacists in the UK are facing considerable challenges in terms of personal protection and the delivery of pharmacy services. Inappropriate behaviour from patients and carers towards community pharmacists require urgent attention to ensure a safe working place for all community pharmacists.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Early online date9 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jul 2020

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