1) GPs have been informed that BH Friday, Easter Monday, and the May bank holidays will be normal days. The regulations have been changed and surgeries will be open as usual. There is no change yet to pharmacy regulations, and arrangements are being left to local teams. This change may come at the last minute to pharmacies, so perhaps now is the time to alert staff?
2) If pharmacies need to amend their hours and close, please fill in the DOS. This information will be cascaded everywhere from the DOS including the CCG.
3) Pharmacy deliveries will increase due to patient demand, shielding and social distancing. This plus actual/potential staff illness in pharmacies is putting enormous strain into the system. Volunteers are being deployed to help patients although the logistics of how this is going to happen is evolving. To begin with council staff will be used.
4) Another group has been set up - called the tripartite group or LRF . In our area, this group covers Sunderland, ourselves and North of Tyne. Geraint from N oF T will be our representative. The group comprises a senior community Pharmacist, a senior hospital Pharmacist and a CCG representative. It will attempt to provide guidance on hospital discharge and palliative care issues to begin with.