During the current public health emergency, there will be a greatly increased need for medicines to be delivered to patients, particularly those who are cocooning.
The PSI – the pharmacy regulator is aware that there is a significant national effort taking place, led by Local Authority Community Response Fora, to support the vulnerable and older members of our communities in ensuring they continue to receive what they need to stay at home and to stay well.
The PSI and the HSE have published joint guidance on home delivery of medicines as an aid to volunteers, patients and pharmacy teams during the COVID-19 emergency efforts. This joint guidance aims to help ensure the appropriate and safe supply of medicines is in place where there will be many volunteers, the Gardaí, An Post staff and others involved in making delivery of medicines happen.
Section 3 of the guidance has information to assist people who will be receiving medicines at home. The PSI has recommended that pharmacies provide this information to their patients who need to avail of a delivery service at this time. This will give people:
- clarity about how the service will operate, and
- assurance that they are going to receive their medicines safely with as little contact with other people as possible.
It is also useful to know that in each pharmacy the supervising pharmacist is responsible for ensuring that the delivery of medicines to patients is carried out in a safe, organised and secure way. They must ensure patient confidentiality and the integrity of medicines through the delivery process and it is also very important that anyone with a question about their medicines and the use of them should get in contact with their pharmacist or doctor, so that they do not interrupt their treatment.
Local and national information will be made available shortly about the Local Authority community supports so that everyone can understand how to avail of, and co-ordinate with, these services. You can check with the PSI – the pharmacy regulators website which is regularly updated with pharmacy and public health COVID-19 resources, and their staff operate a query service (email or phone 01 218 4000) for members of the public who may have questions about their treatment or care in a pharmacy.