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Pharmacies supply over 820,000 lateral flow tests in Northern Ireland

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Pharmacies supply over 820,000 lateral flow tests in Northern Ireland

Community pharmacies in Northern Ireland have supplied more than 820,000 lateral flow test kits throughout the country, according to the Health and Social Care Board.

The figure relates to products that contain seven kits and equates to over 5.7 million individual tests that have been distributed by 500 pharmacies in 580 locations across Northern Ireland.

Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland chair Peter Rice described the achievement as a “significant milestone” and urged the Department of Health to consider it “when planning for healthcare transformation".

“Facing increased demands from patients as well as workforce pressures associated with the transmission of the Omicron variant, our community pharmacy teams have remained steadfast in their efforts to distribute Lateral Flow Tests among communities,” he said.

“It has been a huge logistical undertaking to get to this point and community pharmacy has played an integral part.”

Lesa McLoughlin, a community pharmacist at Dundela Pharmacy in Belfast (pictured), said: “Working in a community pharmacy throughout the pandemic, I have seen first-hand the role my colleagues have been playing each day to support patients.

“We have continually stepped beyond our everyday role to take on additional services to support those living in the community. The rollout of Lateral Flow testing kits is an essential part of this as patients have come to rely on community pharmacy as part of their test, trace, and isolate routine.”

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