RPS English Pharmacy Board chair Claire Anderson has today (March 23) written to the health secretary, Matt Hancock, calling for greater recognition of pharmacists and support staff who are going “above and beyond” to help patients and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said many in the profession had been "shocked" at the lack of recognition in official Government communications, and urged Mr Hancock to "stand with us".
The letter is reproduced below:
We are writing to you as the professional leadership body representing pharmacists working across Great Britain, who are on the frontline looking after patients in the face of the unprecedented demands placed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The response from pharmacy teams has been truly remarkable. Pharmacists and their teams have been on the frontline defending Great Britain against the COVID-19 threat and doing their best to make sure everyone gets the medicines and healthcare advice they need.
In the face of this global crisis, pharmacy teams are going above and beyond to ensure the public are well looked after.
While we appreciate all healthcare professionals are working extremely hard, there have been regular specific mentions of doctors and nurses in much of the Government’s communications. We have been shocked by the lack of recognition, support and encouragement from the Government for the fantastic work pharmacy is doing. Pharmacists have been expressing their disappointment to us over the past few days and I feel compelled to relay these concerns.
Many pharmacy teams are telling us they are exhausted and in need of greater support. We’ve been told that COVID-19 will be a marathon not a sprint, and your support and recognition for pharmacy over the coming hours, days, weeks and months will be vital.
We know this is an issue you care about and we really must start seeing this come through the Government communications to the public. We would also be keen to see rapid progress on our wider calls for support to make sure pharmacy teams can keep caring for patients.
The pharmacy profession is standing alongside the Government and the NHS in the fight against COVID-19. You now need to stand by us.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Prof Claire Anderson FRPharmS,
Chair, English Pharmacy Board
Royal Pharmaceutical Society