John Bell & Croyden – holders of the Royal Warrant and pharmacists to Her Majesty the Queen – are celebrating the key role that community pharmacists have played during COVID-19.
The renowned pharmacy emporium – who have kept their doors opened through two world wars and now a pandemic – say that, despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, community pharmacies who work on the frontlines have grasped the opportunity to fill crucial care gaps and together have driven forward revolutionary changes in pharmacy practice.
“John Bell & Croyden celebrates key role of community pharmacists during covid-19. “
This includes adapting their ways of working to enhance public care, from providing drive-thru, digital solutions and access to remote consultants, as well as expanding their flu vaccination programs and critically providing COVID-19 testing to help free up demand on health services.
In recent years community pharmacists have begun taking on more of the clinical roles that have traditionally been undertaken by doctors – and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this shift in remarkable ways, says Reshma Malde, Superintendent Pharmacist at John Bell & Croyden.
"COVID-19 has caused a paradigm shift in the way people view and use their pharmacies, and these changes are likely to sustain beyond the pandemic. With many GP practices and A&E services limiting consultations this year, lots of us have had to rely on visiting the pharmacy for non-COVID related medical advice, who have acted as a beacon of expertise during this difficult period.
"Across the country pharmacies have been doing amazing work in keeping up with demand and rising to this pressing challenge. They’ve adapted quickly and shown that they have a lot to offer. This was a completely new environment, but the crisis has shown just how incredible – and adaptable – the industry can be."
Pharmacists saw a huge surge in demand for their services during the pandemic, as patients struggled to access other healthcare providers, such as GPs, dentists and hospitals. As barriers went up and lockdown rules set in, pharmacies kept their doors firmly open, offering advice and guidance in a unique and vital way(1).
A recent survey by PAGB, the consumer healthcare association, found that 1 in 3 (31%) of us who would not have visited a pharmacy for advice previously are now more likely to do so before seeking help elsewhere(2). This points to the essential role that pharmacists have played in supplementing gaps in care during the pandemic – and the wider recognition this has created for their profession.
Government conversations are currently taking place deciding whether to allow pharmacists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, pointing to their wider potential and scope within primary care(3).
"The lockdown period has created profound challenges, but it has also driven some positive changes and highlighted the potential for pharmacists to take a wider role in public care in the future." Reshma adds.
"Today 9 in 10 of us recognise the crucial role pharmacies have played in working together to actively expand access to care. This is an amazing recognition of the vital contribution they have made in supporting the public response to COVID-19 – and can continue to make."
John Bell & Croyden is a leading specialist provider of pharmaceutical and healthcare services. Established in 1978, the luxury pharmacy has long embodied the spirit of innovation that continues to define healthcare – and guided times of crises. Their commitment is to work closely with customers to tailor and deliver their service in the way that they need.
In response to COVID-19, the pharmacy recently launched a same day and next day coronavirus testing service in partnership with the Regenerative Clinic. The quick and convenient service is also available as a private pre-flight test for passengers. More recently an extension to this service was announced with the addition of a Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test that promises results in just 15 minutes.
John Bell & Croyden is part of McKesson UK, alongside brands such as AAH Pharmaceuticals, LloydsPharmacy, MASTA Travel Health and many others.See all the latest jobs in Consumer