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PDA develop Emergency Pharmacist Task Force to help fight the COVID-19 crisis

Back in April, the PDA reached out to locum pharmacist members to ask that they register their interest in an Emergency Pharmacist Task Force – a group of some of the most adaptable, mobile and versatile pharmacists, that are prepared to travel where necessary to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Tue 2nd June 2020 The PDA

These pharmacists have been put ‘on standby’ and are available to help, should they be called on.

The initiative has been successful and now that over 700 pharmacists have registered their interest in the scheme, the PDA has got in touch with all the UK CCGs and health boards to identify additional personnel that can help with a wide range of support activities. Some of the roles would be pharmacy related, others less so.

Examples that have already been raised with the PDA include:

  • Supporting an intensive period of large-scale patient telephone contacts to manage issues like:
    • Calling up patients to ask that they return unnecessary unused items such as inhalers in the event of critical shortages.
  • Supporting a switchover of patients from high-risk medicines such as Warfarin (for which blood monitoring would be difficult) to DOACS.
  • Delivering end of life equipment to a patient’s home and providing the necessary practical advice.
  • Supporting centralised Repeat Prescribing programmes.
  • Supporting the establishment of some of the Nightingale Hospital facilities.
  • Supporting the national large-scale testing programme.

As the operational issues become more challenging, pharmacists may be called upon to utilise their professional and clinical expertise in a range of situations.

Those pharmacists who might be called upon to undertake unfamiliar or innovative roles would necessarily be provided with the appropriate training and remuneration; it is expected that these matters would be agreed between the locum and the respective commissioner.

The PDA’s role has been to purely create the register and make it available to local organisations, it is now for those organisations to approach locums that are part of the initiative to agree on any work activities.

As well as helping with the COVID-19 crisis, this scheme also aims to get more locum pharmacists back into work.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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