At this time pharmacies across the country are dealing with unprecedented demand. In addition, their staff are not immune to the virus and many of our chemists already have staff who are unwell or self-isolating where family members have symptoms. In the same way as we are asking people not to stock pile food, please, if you have enough medicines for the next few days, please wait until next week to visit clearly overstretched pharmacies in our area. There are also increasing numbers of pharmacies who offer a delivery services and there are lots of volunteers who can collect prescriptions for you if you are over 70 and staying at home, or are shielded. Please use these services next week or the week after and stay at home to save lives.
I have spoken to senior management at Lloyds as I know the Braunton pharmacy is particularly badly affected with long queues and staff shortages. They are behind on dispensing because of a combination of unprecedented demand and a backlog in processing prescriptions. They are working on relocating other staff to assist and improving their systems so people are not waiting for prescriptions that are not yet ready. I know these are difficult times, but if your prescription is non-urgent, or you are stocking up for your 12 weeks in self-isolation, please ensure your immediate needs are catered for, but come next week rather than this to enable the pharmacy in Braunton to catch up. Once the orders are packed up the Braunton pharmacy will be able to work with volunteers to deliver, but at this time it is the processing of prescriptions they are particularly behind on.
Those in the Braunton queue have shown brilliant social distancing, however, just queuing for so many hours is stressful in itself. At this difficult time I hope we can all look after each other, and please try next week if you can wait, or ask a kindly volunteer, of which there are a growing army in North Devon who want to help.
If you wish to volunteer yourself in or around Braunton, please go to www.brauntoncommunity.org/ to find out more