In spite of the fact that the Department of Health and Social Care has told The Pharmaceutical Journal that it has “no plans” to offer the confidential counseling service offered to GPs and other doctors to pharmacists. There are concerns being raised about the increasing mental health issues among pharmacists in the midst of Coronavirus crises.
Even though pharmacists were able to access a temporary NHS mental health hotline, enabling the staff to deal with the pandemic, theIndependent Pharmacy UK emphasized that in the wake of the current pandemic,there is an immense need for comprehensive mental health support for all pharmacists, in order to empower them to cope with stress, depression, and addiction.It is a leading British online pharmacy founded in 2013 by two experienced pharmacist buddies Andy Boysan and Scott McDougall, offering a range of over-the-counter and prescription medicines. The Independent Pharmacy UK delivers free medicines anywhere in the UK, serving to create ease for locals in the midst of lockdown.
“We are aware thatnumerous pharmacists working during pandemic wereon the verge of burnout even before the pandemic at the hands of unprecedented demand for services. During the next, upcoming months,as the second wave of Pandemic is all set to hit the UK, there will be added pressures and stress,” says Founder of TheIndependent Pharmacy UK.
In December 2019, a survey was conducted by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society reporting that 80% of the pharmacist were at high or very high risk of burnout because of exhaustion. Over half of the 1,300 respondents stated that they now oftenreconsider their career choice, and 44% were fretful about possibly making errors or providing poor-quality care to patients.
Fast forward to six months later,in the midst of the pandemic, over half of pharmacists (56%) who participated in The Pharmaceutical Journal survey responded they worked more hours during the coronavirus pandemic. This confirms how the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) revealed that pharmacists were dispensing between a quarter and a third more prescription during the pandemic, for they were working more hours.
The Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies has praised that the community pharmacy has reflected “immense resilience” going above and beyond to cater to the increased care needs of patients in the midst of the pandemic. “However, it also reveals that as pharmacies are operating at the top of their limits and capacity, they necessitate proper support. This support is also required in terms of creating a safer work environment for the pharmacist, providing better mental health counseling, and equipping them with better self-care mechanisms to forestall the side-effects of pressure and stress,” explains Founder of The Independent Pharmacy UK.
Pharmacists that worked in hospitals were also vulnerable to thestruggle with critical care medicines shortages brought forth by the astonishing demand of COVID-19 patients. This explains why Warwick Smith, director-general of the British Generic Manufacturers Association, stated some manufactures of intensive care medicines utilized up to 12 months of supply in just two weeks’ time. He further elaborated that the supply chain was sustained in part by few manufacturers discontinuing the supply of other medicines to produce intensive care drugs, which were at risk of running out, while the NHS was busy in setting up a special unit to spot alternative sources of these necessary medicines.
Currently, as the second wave of COVID-19 is banging with a blast,the testing of pharmacistsfor COVID-19 has been ramped up — this implies that fewer pharmacists would now require to self-isolate. Several pharmacists have also appreciated that they are now receiving a warming boost in terms of their reputation among the public and other healthcare professionals.
Indeed, there remains a silver lining to the dark cloud of Pandemic, which made us all realize the worth of the medical care sector in the UK. A recent survey done in this regard unleashed that over 40% of pharmacists believe that the public perception of pharmacy has improved, and a similar proportion believes the reputation of pharmacy among other healthcare professionals has also enhanced. More than ever, there is now increased awareness of what the pharmacy can do among people. The public is encountering and learning new things each day, realizing the worth of pharmacies.