Throughout the pandemic, Reach Pharmacy did what it could in the face of adverse circumstances that had never been imagined, let alone experienced. The pharmacy chain stayed open throughout the pandemic to ensure continuity of service to increasingly stressed and anxious communities – particularly at the beginning of the pandemic – when patients were worried and unsure of what was to happen. As a result, the communities served by Reach Pharmacy have continually expressed their gratitude about how pharmacy ‘kept them going’ during these uncharted waters.
As NHS Business Partner for Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland, Yvonne Williams is Well’s subject matter expert on NHS contract, regulations and services in the devolved nations. Additionally, she is responsible for developing resources to support both the pharmacy teams and the business as a whole. Yvonne quickly had to become an expert on COVID and the implications for the pharmacy teams in the devolved nations. Yvonne worked tirelessly to ensure that all the necessary guidance was captured for the devolved nations and fed back to the business to ensure that teams across the country were supported.
This team worked extremely hard throughout the COVID pandemic engaging at every opportunity to help patients, support them and resolve any medical issues they may have, in addition to providing a COVID vaccination service. The team worked closely with the Community Pharmacy Development team in Lothian, who were setting up this service. The Mackinnon Pharmacy team were all provided with the necessary training requirements and data to ensure all members of staff were fully up to date with pharmacy services.
The small team at Broughton Pharmacy worked to implement a drop-in COVID-19 booster vaccine clinic, which it ran six days a week from the pharmacy, vaccinating around 500 patients to date. The two vaccinators and wider team all played a role in planning and running this service, while the pharmacist also vaccinated patients at the NHS Lothian mass vaccination centres. The pharmacy actually opened on Christmas Day, administering vaccines at a time when demand for boosters was exceptionally high.
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