Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Why NHS volunteers are so important

Castlegate pharmacy, Cockermouth. Credit: ITV News

As the government seeks to recruit volunteers to help the NHS many of our communities have already mobilised volunteers to help.

In Cockermouth, Castlegate pharmacy is now able to deliver most of its prescription requests particularly to those who are vulnerable or self isolating.

It comes as pharmacies right across the UK are inundated as the country goes into lockdown due to the coronavirus. Staff are working around the clock to deal with the unprecedented demand.

Credit: ITV News

Sarah Murphy, a Superintendent Pharmacist at Castlegate Pharmacy, said: "We are managing a massive acute service at the minute with the entire GP service sending through their antibiotics requirements, pain relief and we've also got an influx of patients reordering their repeat prescriptions.

"It's possibly because they are concerned that there may be a situation in the future where they may not be able to get hold of them and that is absolutely not the case. We will maintain a service for the foreseeable."

In a bid to keep with demand and reach those who are vulnerable or observing self isolation, the pharmacy team have been joined by volunteers - some are from the local school which is currently closed.

Matthew is a sixth form student who is helping the pharmacy as much as he can: "When school shut down I saw it as an opportunity to help more.

"I can answer phones so the dispensers can do their job and I've also been delivering as well.'

GPs and pharmacy staff want to reassure patients that they will be able to get their prescriptions throughout lockdown and beyond.

Dr Andy Rudman, a GP Castlegate and Derwent Surgery, said: "We are trying to keep everything running as smoothly here as we can.

"I think we need to work together as a community and just stay calm and get through this. The advice is to stay at home and if you can have your medicines delivered to you that's absolutely amazing isn't it."

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

As of Thursday 24 March, more than 500,000 people in just over 24 hours have signed up to help the NHS as volunteers during thecoronavirus crisis.

The NHS and the Prime Minister have thanked those who have offered to help some of the most vulnerable people in the community.

Speaking at the daily press conference at Downing Street, Boris Johnson said he wanted to offer a “special thank you to everyone who has now volunteered to help the NHS”.

The message is, if you can't get to the hospital to collect your prescription it can be delivered by pharmacy staff or one of the legion of volunteers.

Visit your local pharmacies website for more information.

More on this story