Are pharmacists guinea pigs for covid19

With an open door policy and welcome to the consulting room with no triage or any form of screening. I am expetiencing extreme increase in queries and workload over the Covid 19 pandemic. Are we the test subjects for this virus?

No protection of any substance has been implemented a few masks and gloves too little too late and offer no real protection. Whilst surgeries closed their doors and asked for phone Triage we as the Guinea pigs are cannon fodder for all to abuse and cough at. Not to mention the increase in verbal abuse and the coughing at us with dont worry I dont have it hehe. Annoys me and shows the lack of respect to our profession. I conclude as a famous pharmacy publication that indeed we are Guinea pigs after all and the cesspit of healthcare!! Discuss.

  1. I agree with Michael. As far as the government is concerned,community pharmacy are not considered as part of the NHS. We are the slaves of the NHS and the front line fodder for the NHS during this Coronavirus.As far as the government is concerned if some pharmacists do die, it will not make much difference to the NHS. Unfortunately our society is not strong enough to stand for us.

    Every day GPS are given all the praise for working hard during this panademic. They are working behind closed doors and all patients are automatically referred to the pharmacies. We have to see patients with mouth,eyes,nose,skin problems to mention a few symptoms. We do not have decent PPE but we have still got to try and help our patients.

    Deliveries have shot up. The only thing that keeps us going is the thanks and appreciation of our patients.All pharmacists are grateful that someone appreciates us.

  2. I am a accuracy checking pharmacy technician, (although most people say "what's that"? ) which is quite annoying, get educated... anyhow, I suffer from severe anxiety and even more so now, as I have to work during this serious pandemic, I totally agree that we in fact are the front line guinea pigs and surgery's are closed !  I went to pick up my script from the surgery without a mask 😷 the receptionist was at the desk with mask and no one around, now that's satisfying.   Just saying . ...

  3. I agree we work behind screens, but that is our only protection, joined to a doctors surgery that very rarely answers the phone. We get constant grief and abuse. I used to love my position as an Act in pharmacy. But putting a big strain on my feelings. I am normally chilled person. But now I get so frustrated with the way the general public treat us and speak to us .where is our PPE? 

  4. Looks like we are! Surgeries and dentists don't see patients unless triaged and operate behind closed doors while I've already been asked to start doing MURs in the small, non-ventilated consulation room. On top of that when someone asks 'can I see the pharmacist?' the answer is 'yes, sure won't be long'. Then I get questions that are a result of eveyone else being closed. The phone is ringing constantly, makes my ears hurt. We are doing our best to protect ourselves but it's feels like nobody else cares for pharmacists.. 

  5. I work in GP dispensery and was a tech, since COVID I've had pay cut by 30p and expected to work long hours, taking abuse each day. From this experience I find being a tech a complete joke, on minimum wage not encouraged or supported especially through this pandemic. I've come off the register and lost all faith and any commitment to pharmacy work. I am expected to work under the NHS umberrella when it suits, ie long hours more work and considerable stress but then not recognised for it when it comes to pay. We've been used for our services during this time and not been given ppe, when I did want a mask for my anxiety i was told clinicians needed it more than me, just says it all. 

  6. I am a community pharmacist working very near Doctor's Surgery. I totally agree witth Yogesh Verma when he says that we are not cosidered a part of NHS and community Pharmacy Team are uses as Guinea Pigs for Covid -19.

    The Doctor's surgeirs have closes their doors to patient; they will not see patient face to face; the doctors receptionist triaging patients in some surgeries. In some cases they are protecting the Doctors rather than being concerned for the health of the patients.

    We have had patients refered to us to make "diagnosis "of new medical conditions or severity of ongoing medical condtions and then inform the Doctor  or their receptionist of the patients condition so the Doctor can in most cases prescribe something appropriate. We have had to inform the patients many a times that their medical conditions would be best dealt by face to face meeting with G.P. or a Consultant.

    We have had children as young as 8 years old suffering from dry irritating coughs which have not responded to OTC medicines after the parients of the children have been told to go to the pharmacy and get cough medicine by the receptionist.

    We have had to write emails or letters to the Doctor's to respond urgently to some patients conditions because the patients have been reffered to the pharmacy  by the surgery to buy dressings for their open infected wounds which would have required antibiotics. Our suggestion to the patient was to go to nearest walk in centre or accident and emergency center or NHS111 as their surgery staff would and could not even singpost their patient to the correct agency.

    I wonder if NHS England, Local CCG or GMC is aware of this problems.

    I know GPhC or Royal Pharmaceutical Society have not done much for our profession except write article and occasionaly phone to inform us where ou duties lie. Do they know where thir duties lie

  7. Agree with all the comments above . The surgeries do not answer phones or if you are lucky  after the 150th ring , the reply is  "we are  full up and you better go to a pharmacy or call 111" !!!!

    yet, after all this covid thing is over , the powers at the top will continue to say that the pharmacist should do more to take the burden off doctors shoulders ( all for £20/hr!!! ). 

    Utter disgrace

  8. Likewise , agree with above comments. We are and always have been the poor relation with regards to GP's. Constant referrals directly from surgeries and via NHS 111 for complaints which are outside our professional remit . I generally enjoy working with  and helping our customers but am increasingly angry at what is 'put upon us' . As a profession we are not appreciated despite working v hard throughout this pandemic and allowing the public access to our services at all times. Very disillusioned and glad I'm at the tail end of my working life.  

  9. I couldn't agree more with the short article or view point of pharmacist been used as guinea pigs and the follow up comments from other colleagues. I just want to add to this conversation by mentioning one of the weird things I have noticed over the lockdown periods to date. While the GPs remain behind closed doors, they have constantly been referring patients to the pharmacy for Blood pressure checks. I am have been left baffled by this irresponsible treatment of pharmacists as though it is okay for us pharmacist to accept all the risks to our lives posed by the virus but doctors should be protected. The disparity of how doctors and pharmacists are treated in this environment could not be more stark, yet we must at all time act professionally. To all pharmacists colleagues, thanks you for standing strong in the mist of all the craziness. 

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