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CPS: Pharmacies forced to close due to PPE failures

Some pharmacies in Scotland have been forced to close by the country’s Test and Protect programme because staff were not wearing appropriate PPE, Community Pharmacy Scotland has said.

Addressing pharmacy teams in a video message on Wednesday November 18, CPS chief executive Harry McQuillan referred to “a few” cases where a staff member had tested positive for coronavirus with “remaining staff being advised to all self-isolate due to non-compliance with PPE guidance”.

Describing pharmacies as the “keystone of the NHS,” Mr McQuillan said that to reduce hospital admissions it is vital that pharmacies remain open and continue to provide services during the pandemic.

When approached by Pharmacy Network News, CPS said it could not confirm how many pharmacies have closed due to PPE non-compliance as “we don’t have this detail collated”.

Only Type II masks accepted

Mr McQuillan urged pharmacy workers: “Where you cannot maintain a 2 metre distance in addition to hand sanitisation and cleaning routines, you need to wear the Scottish Government issued type II fluid resistant PPE masks at all times.”

Masks must be put on before entering the pharmacy and worn during breaks and when working on the cashier, Mr McQuillan said. 

“When you leave and you’re locking up wear it until you’ve left your colleagues to travel home,” he added.

He stressed that other face coverings such as plastic visors are not deemed sufficient by Test and Protect, and reminded those who cannot wear a type II mask for health reasons that they “must maintain two meters’ distance from other colleagues at all times”.

Mr McQuillan also advised pharmacies to source PPE through the national procurement channels rather than using privately ordered supplies to be certain they are complying with the guidance.




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