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Back on the register – a guest blog on returning to pharmacy during the COVID-19 crisis

Read the latest NAWP guest blog. Here, Anita White, past President of NAWP, shares her experience of volunteering in the fight against COVID-19.

Thu 30th April 2020 The PDA

Anita recalls the timeline of events that lead her to voluntarily come out of retirement and return to pharmacy. She shares her thoughts on why she decided to return, how she felt walking back in on that first day and how she handled the logistics of temporarily registering and arranging indemnity insurance. Read more below.

When everyone was told to stop going to work and stay at home – something I’d been doing since the end of 2019 due to my retirement – NHS staff were asked to stay at or even go back to work.

20th March – asked to consider going back on the register. Talked to colleagues. Decided while not really wanting to, it’s our duty to help.

27th March – on GPhC’s temporary register, PDA Professional Indemnity Insurance reinstated at a cost, some of which will be refunded when I come off the register.

1st April – could I work the next two afternoons? – far sooner than I’d expected…my ex-boss was ill, later testing positive for COVID-19.

Walking into the Pharmacy was daunting, even after such a short time. Luckily I knew the set-up and had some excellent staff. Prescription numbers were high, but footfall was low. 2m distancing wasn’t possible, but we tried to work at the ends of the benches. PPE was available, and the recommendation then was it was only necessary if in direct contact with suspected COVID-19 patients.

Customers were allowed in two at a time, kept 2m away, and asked to wait outside for prescriptions. No, I couldn’t have a look at a rash, but could recommend something. Yes, we had paracetamol but at an increased price.

I’ll continue to be an unpaid volunteer. Proud as always to be a pharmacist and to help in the pandemic.


By Anita White, past President of NAWP

PDA Member Networks

As part of our work to meet the demands of our growing membership and advance our work on equality, earlier this year we launched four Equality, Diversity and Inclusions (EDI) networks, including the NAWP Network (National Association of Women Pharmacists). Click the button below to learn more and join one or more of our networks today.


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