Additional funding of £5.5 million will be provided to community pharmacies to help them cope with increased pressures from coronavirus (COVID-19).
Pharmacy workloads almost doubled during March, with increased prescriptions, staff overtime and a higher level of consultations all resulting in additional costs for the service.
The additional funding will be added to the network’s March payments.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP said:
“I want to thank all community pharmacy teams for their incredible hard work throughout this pandemic. They do an invaluable job ensuing people continue to receive vital medicines and care through this period of unprecedented challenge for the NHS.
“Given the exceptional situation we are in, I have taken the unusual step of asking community pharmacies to remain open on Good Friday and Easter Monday, where it is possible to do so. This will help to alleviate some pressure from out-of-hours services."
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“Working with the Community Pharmacy Scotland the SNP Government has agreed this initial package of additional funding for community pharmacies to help them meet the costs of responding to COVID-19 and to allow them to continue their vital work at a time of increased demand on their crucial services.”
The additional funding is intended to help with costs including:
• additional staff hours and locum costs;
• the increased amount of medicine prescriptions;
• modifications to premises such as installation of protective screens;
• additional cleaning costs; and
• increased phone consultations.
Last month it was announced that community pharmacists would perform an enhanced role during the COVID-19 outbreak and this they are providing.