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Local pharmacy staff have ‘never been under so much pressure’

Windows go up in West Belfast chemist shops Windows go up in West Belfast chemist shops
By Ciara Quinn

THOSE accessing prescriptions and services from West Belfast pharmacies are being urged to remain “calm and patient” as healthcare staff come under relentless pressure amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking on behalf of Cooper’s Chemist, Michael Cooper told the Andersonstown News that the business, which has served the community for some 38 years, has “never been under as great a pressure”.
“Patient expectations needs to be managed,” he said.
“We are asking those coming into the pharmacy to stay calm, stay patient.
“Our community pharmacy teams are going above and beyond expectation. They are at the coalface daily. Their workload has trebled since Thursday.”
He continued; “We have a responsibility to not only our community, but our hard working pharmacy teams to try and limit the spread of the virus.
“For the last number of years, the Department of Health has underfunded community pharmacies but we have carried on throughout that crisis, and we at Cooper’s Pharmacy intend to carry on during this crisis.”
Stringent measures have been implemented at several community pharmacies across West Belfast as steps are taken to try and limit the spread and impact of Coronavirus.
Measures included at a number of community pharmacies including Cooper’s from this week include:
n Dedicated prescription drop-off and collection windows in pharmacies in order to manage prescriptions in an orderly and safe manner. Those who need their prescription are asked to queue in an orderly fashion.
n Those who are feeling unwell – especially with a cough or fever are asked to NOT come to the pharmacy but to contact their GP or call the NHS 111 number.
n Coopers will be closed from 1pm-2pm to allow appropriate disinfecting of all its surfaces and to allow a dedicated break for staff.
n If collecting prescriptions please telephone ahead to ensure the prescription has been received and will be prepared for collection.
Michael said that he, along with staff, appreciated the kind sentiments already shown by their customers.
“We would ask that they continue to show support and encourage our hard working pharmacy teams.
“There is and will continue to be huge pressure on us. Please keep this in mind in the days and weeks ahead.”

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