Coronavirus posters for pharmacy
Updated coronavirus (COVID-19) posters have been published by Public Health England (PHE), as of 29 February 2020, which pharmacy contractors are advised to display so they are visible to people seeking to enter their premises.
Community pharmacies are now being advised to display three PHE posters. The first is a poster for outside the pharmacy that advises people who have been to an affected place, had contact with someone with the virus or have symptoms including fever, cough or shortness of breath not to enter the surgery but contact the 111 online coronavirus service from their home for their safety and others.
The second poster goes into detail of the countries and places affected and what to do if a customer has travelled there. The final poster, and newest update, advises customers who have been to certain regions in northern Italy, where the cases have recently increased.
The posters can be downloaded for community pharmacies from the Pharmaceutical Negotiating Services Committee (PSNC) and PHE websites.
In addition, the NHS is currently rolling out services on NHS sites to test people for coronavirus, including a new drive-through service in west London. The service, provided by Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust in Parsons Green, is only accessed through a referral from NHS 111. After being referred, people are invited to an appointment in their car, during which two community nurses carry out a swab of the nose and mouth, which are checked and assessed within 72 hours, according to the NHS. People are asked to self-isolate while checks are completed so as to prevent any potential onward transmission of the virus.
Commenting on the drive-through service, Dr Joanne Medhurst, medical director for Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Anyone who is worried about coronavirus should call NHS 111 for up to date advice. We’ve set up the drive-through service to make sure people in our community can get safe, convenient and quick checks for coronavirus, as part of NHS efforts to keep everyone safe.”
She added: “It’s crucial that, as a community service, we help residents in our area to get accurate, timely advice while managing extra pressure on the NHS, and so far this week we’ve had good feedback from people that the swabbing service offers reassurance at what can be a difficult time.”
As of 5 March 2020, 18,083 people have been tested for coronavirus in the UK, of which 17,968 were negative and 115 confirmed positive. In a speech addressing the House of Commons on 3 March, health secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is becoming more likely that we will see widespread transmission here in this country. Our approach is to plan for the worst and work for the best.” He also set out a 4-part action plan to contain, delay, research and mitigate the virus, which was finalised at a Government COBRA meeting on 2 March.
NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have released updated coronavirus guidance for primary care, including specific advice for community pharmacy teams.