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Herts pharmacists plead for patience during coronavirus crisis

Pharmacists across Hertfordshire are pleading with customers to use chemists responsibly during the coronavirus crisis.

Staff are facing a surge in demand for their services coupled with disruption to their supply chains.

Rachel Solanki, joint chair of Community Pharmacy Herts (CPH), which represents the county's 240 outlets, said: "All our pharmacy teams are working incredibly hard under highly unusual and very stressful circumstances.

Hertfordshire pharmacy (34352175)
Hertfordshire pharmacy (34352175)

"We understand the worry many people have, particularly the older and more vulnerable in the community, because some of their regular medicines are in short supply and the frustration of having to queue to get into a pharmacy or the difficulty in getting through on the phone.

"We're simply asking the people of Hertfordshire to bear with us while we deal with everyone's prescriptions and replenish our stocks of medicines.

"Stocks of common non-prescription medicines like ibuprofen and paracetamol, which were in short supply, are being replenished, but please only order what medicines you really need and order them in good time. Above all, we're simply asking everyone to please be patient."

Fellow joint chair Girish Mehta added: "These are extraordinary times but it is very important that our pharmacists and their teams are protected and respected. Pharmacies are currently the only place people can just turn up in person without an appointment for medicines, help and advice.

"We are implementing Government policy on social distancing and our colleagues are doing all they can to make sure their patients continue to get their medicines. But there is a real risk that if we run out of medicines, staff are off sick or pharmacists are in any way at risk, some pharmacies may have to restrict their opening hours or even close."

With two bank holidays this month, they advise:

  • Visit your pharmacy only for essentials
  • Check https://hertslpc.org.uk/ for latest opening hours
  • If you can get someone else to collect your medicines, do so as it will free up a delivery slot for someone more vulnerable.

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