|What to expect in your local Pharmacy:
Please use the following guidance to help inform your patients and the public of what they can expect in your local pharmacy:
Social distancing, Isolation and Shielding guide:
With advice regarding the COVID-19 pandemic changing on a daily basis, many people are confused about the difference between social distancing, isolation and shielding. To help members advise people appropriately, the NPA has created a quick reference guide explaining what the different concepts mean, who they apply to, how to carry them out, why they are important, and where to get further information from.
We have also created a short guide, within which we define social distancing and outline methods that pharmacies can use to implement this. The final page of this guidance may be used as a poster to give the public a visual representation of the “do’s and don’t’s” of social distancing.
Identifying domestic abuse and safeguarding
It has been reported that since lockdown, the number of cases of domestic violence has increased. Safeguarding vulnerable adults and children is a priority in healthcare, including pharmacy teams. It means protecting the health, human rights and wellbeing of vulnerable adults and children to make sure they live without abuse, harm and/or neglect. Professional standards require all those working in a pharmacy to be aware of safeguarding their customers/patients, and know what actions to take if there is a concern. With pharmacies being one of the few places that currently remain open, it is more important than ever that pharmacy teams can identify the signs of abuse. Please read the full NPA resource on domestic abuse, which includes information on reporting concerns, key support networks and signs and symptoms of abuse.
Methods to prevent the transmission of COVID-19:
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 acute respiratory disease. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. (PHE).
- Frequently clean your hands by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- When coughing and sneezing, use a tissue or if caught without cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow (when the tissue is used, discard it immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands as above)
- Avoid close contact with anyone that is coughing, sneezing and has a fever, and maintain at least 2 metre distance
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, share information about any recent travels with NHS 111/NHS Direct Wales/ NHS 24 111 (In NI you can ring NHS 111 for information or advice and they will help you decide if you need to contact your GP.)
- If you have mild respiratory symptoms and no specific travel history, carefully follow the precautions listed above and ensure that you stay at home until you recover
- Avoid eating animal products that are not thoroughly cooked
- Avoid direct contact with live animals or surfaces in contact with animals when visiting live markets situated in areas where cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed
Advice to patients and the public if you have symptoms:
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, follow Stay at home: guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection:
- If you or anyone in your household” has one of the two symptoms – a high temperature or continuous cough – you should stay at home for 14 days. If possible you should not go out, even to buy food or essentials, other than for exercise and in that case at a safe distance from others.
- DO NOT visit your GP surgery, community pharmacy or a hospital
- ONLY contact NHS 111 online if your symptoms get worse during home isolation, or are no better after seven days – if you have no internet access, call NHS 111.
Advice to Patients with Asthma:
AsthmaUK – Health advice for people with asthma
Further reading from Gov.uk :
What you can and can’t do (FAQs): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do
New personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance for NHS teams
COVID-19: infection prevention and control
Guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people
Guidance for health professionals
Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults.
Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.
Stay at home guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
Use of masks and advice (WHO)