Scottish pharmacies get £5.5m Covid-19 funding boost

News

Scottish pharmacies get £5.5m Covid-19 funding boost

In News

Scottish health secretary Jeanne Freeman

An ‘initial funding package’ of £5.5m in extra cash has been made available to community pharmacies in Scotland to support them during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The funding, which is being given over and above the global sum for the sector, was announced today by Scottish health secretary Jeanne Freeman.

Ms Freeman said the money would help with the surge in activity pharmacies were seeing in terms of dispensing volume and patient consultations, and would help cover the costs of safety equipment, social distancing measures and staffing.

It follows a previous commitment to give pharmacies three times their usual base payment at the end of April in the form of an advance from the global sum.

Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) welcomed the announcement of new funding but stressed that it was an “initial” measure and further support would be needed for a sector that has acted as “the real frontline” in primary care in recent weeks.

Request to open on Easter

Ms Freeman said that because of the Covid-19 crisis she had taken the “unusual step” of asking pharmacies to stay open on Good Friday and Easter Monday “where it is possible to do so”.

“I can confirm that the Scottish Government will meet in full any necessary additional costs incurred by community pharmacies in supporting the NHS at this time,” she said, adding that the sector had responded “positively” to her request.

CPS commented: “While the Easter opening ask is one that will be difficult for pharmacy teams anticipating a break after a number of challenging weeks, it does underline the importance of community pharmacy teams up and down the country.”

‘A central part of primary care’

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s daily Covid-19 briefing, Ms Freeman thanked community pharmacy teams for their “incredible hard work” in supplying medicines and caring for the public during the pandemic.

“Community pharmacies are very much a central part of our primary and community healthcare workforce and services… they are in many ways where most of us will secure that healthcare and support that we need.”

With growing reports of abuse against pharmacy staff, Ms Freeman urged the public to be patient during an “unprecedented time for the NHS,” saying pharmacies “need your support” as much as any other part of the health service.

Politicians 'aware of Easter salary implications'

Speaking on a Community Pharmacy Scotland video message on Tuesday evening, chief executive Harry McQuillan told Scottish contractors the "first initial payment" -  secured at £5.58m and not the £5.3m originally announced - was part of a larger request submitted to the Scottish Government for "reasonable adjustments you have made to your premises and increased staff costs during March." He said that CPS were aware that the funding may not be enough to cover those costs.

Mr McQuillan said that while pharmacies were being asked to work on the Easter bank holidays the expectation was that not everyone would have to open: "The objective is to give pharmaceutical care coverage across health board areas."

"The ask is for you to consider where you can help with this. As the advice is for people not to travel, where possible, to consider whether you could open even for a half day on Good Friday and/or Easter Monday.

Mr McQuillan said the level of funding for Easter working was one of the major subjects for discussion at CPS's virtual board meeting today [Wednesday] and that politicians are "fully aware of the salary implications of Bank Holidays". 

This article has been updated with comment from Community Pharmacy Scotland's Harry McQuillan since it was first published.

Record my learning outcomes

News

Inspiring stories related to health, fitness and the pursuit of wellbeing

Share:

More like this

bookmark_icon_off
News

NHSE gives pharmacies £300 for social distancing barriers

Pharmacies in England will receive a £300 payment for installing protective barriers in order to reduce teams’ risk of Covid-19 infection.

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
News

Asthma UK clarifies who is at high risk from Covid-19

Preventer inhaler plus preventer oral medication plus continuous oral steriods equals high risk.

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
News

Support for dementia sufferers during Covid lockdown

A new information leaflet to support people living with dementia and their carers during the Covid-19 crisis is now available.

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
News

Pre-reg delays 'could lead to crisis in NI pharmacies'

Failure to allow Northern Ireland pre-reg students to join the workforce this summer could 'lead to another crisis' says CPNI.

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
News

£300m Covid-19 downpayment for pharmacies 'not new money'

The Government has signed off on £300 million in advance funding for community pharmacies in England over the next two months.

2 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
News

Charities badly hit by Covid-19 warns Coeliac UK

The Covid-19 pandemic is drying up health charities’ income streams, Coeliac UK said as it launched an urgent funding appeal.

1 Min Article

Recommended Learning

bookmark_icon_off
OTC

Managing dry eye and blepharitis

Discover the link between dry eye and blepharitis and learn how to help customers effectively manage these conditions.

10 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
OTC

Challenge your thinking on warts and verrucas

Discover different treatment options for warts and verruas and when to recommend them to your customers, based on their individual needs

17 Min Module

OTC

Supporting women in their contraceptive choices

Upgrade your contraceptive consultations by exploring the interactive pack to learn about a daily oral contraceptive pill

8 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
News

Bacterial vaginosis (BV): Test and treat

This short module is designed to help you have conversations with customers about Canestest and Canesbalance Bacterial Vaginosis Vaginal Gel.

10 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
OTC

Sore throat treatment update

Update your knowledge on treating sore throat without antibiotics with this short, interactive module.

10 Min Module

Clinical

Covid-19 and mental health

Viatris has created this short video based on a publication reviewing global research into the potential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health. It identifies six areas where psychiatrists can play a role in supporting people's mental health through these difficult times.

4 Min Module