In this weeks Health blog, Eamonn outlines the measures put in place at Whelehans to protect the most vulnerable and continue to serve
Posted by Eamonn Brady on
Pharmacy: Protecting the most vulnerable
Pharmacy is our most accessible front-line health service. Pharmacies up and down the length of breath of Ireland continue to provide an essential service of medicine provision to their patients in an efficient and safe manner despite the threat society faces due to Covid-19. All pharmacies are following strict hygiene and social distancing guidelines to protect you and the public at large.
Pharmacy reacting to the threat
Given the rapid escalation of the threat level that Coronavirus (COVID-19) poses to the wellbeing of people and in particular our most vulnerable, Whelehans Pharmacies introduced measures in recent weeks to minimise any potential risk to our patients and staff and to ensure medicine supply is not compromised. At Whelehans we are following the risk assessments and recommendations issued by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/novel-coronavirus-china) and the Health Service Executive (www.hse.ie/coronavirus) to ensure the health and safety of our valued clients and our employees.
Key hygiene and personal protection measures implemented by Whelehans Pharmacy
We have introduced measures designed to protect our customers as well as ensure our staff are protected and don’t fall ill so we can continue the supply medicines to our patients in a safe and efficient manner
Key measures at Whelehans:
- Pharmacy staff (including delivery drivers) are trained to recognise Coronavirus symptoms and how to self-assess themselves to check. We have instructed any staff member who shows positive symptoms to remain at home and follow the procedures outlined by the HSE regarding testing etc.
- Implemented a strict hand hygiene regime including staff hand washing regularly and correct procedures for use of protective gloves which are always worn.
- Provided hand sanitisers at each workstation in the pharmacy which staff use before and after every activity.
- Relocated each workstation so that they are a minimum of 2 metres apart.
- All doors within our pharmacy are left open to avoid door handle contact.
- Implemented a regular anti-bacterial “wipe down” regime for all work surfaces, touch points and equipment regularly
- All customers to our shop front are required to sanitise their hands at a “sanitisation station” we have provided for them
- We have limited access to the fulfilment area to only pharmacists and technicians.
- No customers need to sign prescriptions for the duration of this risk period
- All our delivery drivers are provided with hand sanitiser and gloves in every vehicle and protocols on safe disposal for gloves etc.
- All deliveries to and from the pharmacy are sanitised as they enter and leave the pharmacy yours and our safety
- Our delivery drivers follow strict social distancing for the delivery of medications to your home.
- We have additional Personal Protection equipment for staff if the infection risk increases in the coming weeks.
- Whelehans Pearse St operates a strict one in one out system (max two in store at one time) with strict and clearly marks social distancing rules.
- At Whelehans Clonmore we re-arranged our shop front so we can now serve you from the shop front; you have no need to enter the store. All activities (advice, medicine purchases, prescription handover and more) can take place at the shop front.
- At Whelehans Clonmore customers have the option of waiting in their car and we bring your prescription to your car and you can even pay by card at your car for your convenience.
- Whelehans Clonmore also offer a “Drop, Collect & Go” service where you drop your prescription in our drop box at pharmacy front, wait in car and we drop to your car when ready.
- We have an online prescription ordering service at whelehans.ie so you can opt to collect at Whelehans Pearse St or Clonmore or get delivered to your door for free.
Ensuring Continuity of supply of medicines
There is no shortage of medicines in Ireland and Whelehans have a robust supply chain to ensure continuity of supply. Pharmacies have experienced increased countrywide demand in recent weeks, so while there may be a small delay in some medicines, no patient will be without essential medicines.
Like all pharmacies in Ireland, Whelehans have robust contingency plans for continuity of supply should the pharmacy or any of our suppliers need to shut temporarily for infection control reasons. We will continue to monitor Coronavirus and will continue to adapt, respond and communicate with our clients, employees and suppliers as the situation evolves.
Protecting the most vulnerable in society
Whelehans Pharmacies offer a free home prescription delivery service. Considering advice for older and more vulnerable people to stay at home, Whelehans have expanded our delivery service to serve our customers. We can deliver anything from your prescription to essentials like over the counter medicines, shampoo, toothpaste etc. No order is too small to deliver and there is no delivery charge.
Queries on Coronavirus (Covid-19)
If you have any questions or concerns about coronavirus, phone our pharmacist for advice. If you are presenting with possible symptoms (fever, temperature, dry cough), ring your GP and they will decide if you need a COVID 19 test and arrange the test. Don’t present to your pharmacy or GP surgery if you have possible symptoms.
Keep up to date on Covid 19 updates at www.hse.ie
For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacy’s, log on to www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).