Wishart reminds community to only order prescriptions when needed

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart is reminding the community to plan ahead and only order prescriptions when they are needed following news that community pharmacies in Shetland have been receiving double the amount of usual orders.

NHS Shetland Principle Pharmacist, Mary McFarlane, told BBC Radio Shetland last night that pharmacies in Shetland usually receive 300 to 400 prescription requests every day but that had doubled recently with people concerned about their supply and isolation. This has been adding pressure to staff workload and medicine stocks as the international supply chain faces disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The figures come as the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Scotland is reminding patients and the public of the advice below following reports of pharmacists in Scotland facing a rise in abusive or aggressive behaviour.

  • Do not visit a pharmacy if you or anyone in your household has a temperature or a new and continuous cough, even if it is mild;
  • Plan ahead and try to order your next prescription seven days before it is due.
  • If you are handing in your prescription, please add relevant contact details so that the community pharmacies can let you know when your medicines are ready.
  • If you are self-isolating please ask family, friends or neighbours to pick up your medication for you. If this isn’t possible, ask your community pharmacy for advice about how they can help.
  • If you are collecting medicines for someone take ID with you. Ensure you protect yourself and the patient by delivering the medicines safely and keeping a safe distance from each other.


Commenting, Ms Wishart said:

“I would like to extend my thanks to those staff working on the frontline in our pharmacies.”

“Community pharmacists and pharmacy staff in Shetland are doing an incredibly important job. We must all help them to do that job by acting responsibly, planning ahead and only ordering what we need when we need it. That way we can help to make sure that everyone else receives their prescription too.

“It is entirely unacceptable that pharmacy staff in Scotland have seen a rise in abusive and aggressive behaviour towards them. Thankfully there has been no suggestion that this has been happening in Shetland and that must remain to be the case. ”

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