Community pharmacies advised to make use of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers for the NHS

Consumer

To help relieve pressure from the NHS, it was recommended that community pharmacies take advantage of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who have signed up to deliver medicines to vulnerable patients, via the Good Sam App. The app distributes a request through to a volunteer, closest to the site, and once they approve it, they are required to collect the medications and deliver them to the patients.

Prior to the volunteers signing up to help the NHS, they are required to read advice on how to deliver the medicines appropriately. However, if the pharmacies or patients have any concerns with a volunteer, they can report them to the volunteer organisation body.

“To help relieve pressure from the NHS, it was recommended that community pharmacies take advantage of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who have signed up to deliver medicines to vulnerable patients, via the Good Sam App.“

A pharmacist at the independent J.W.W Allison and Sons, Nat Mitchell, stated: “Delivering medicines is a high pressured job; when we replaced our driver, who retired after 10 years, his replacement lasted 2 days. We aren’t in the city, we have a lot of villages here and places just have a house name, things could get left in the wrong place. It’s ludicrous to say it can be done by volunteers.

Chief Officer of Bexley, Raj Matharu, outlined his concerns stating: “What happens if the wrong medicines are delivered or if the patient rings up and says you haven’t delivered my co-codamol? NHS pharmacy leaders seem to be completely detached at the moment. What they should be doing is allocating pharmacies funds so that they can deliver medicines or bring in external couriers.”

President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), Sandra Gidley, stated: “We have a lot of questions, we have known about this kind of thing for 2 weeks at least, so I am a bit perturbed that we still don’t have something concrete. Pharmacy phone lines are jammed with people asking how [to] sign up to their free medicines delivery service after Boris Johnson said pharmacies will deliver for free, but there is no such service.”

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