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Pharmacists help in fight against covid

Pharmacists help in fight against covid
16 February 2021

Pharmacists help in fight against covid

Pharmacists from NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have played a critical role in supporting the covid vaccination programme in Sheffield.

15 clinical pharmacists from the CCG’s medicines optimisation team have been working at local vaccination centres in primary care networks (PCN) across the city to support practice staff in delivering the vaccinations.

The team have been involved from the very start of the programme, from initially visiting PCN sites to assess their suitability, through to the continued day to day support in clinics. Many of the pharmacists are trained vaccinators and have been administering the vaccine to patients. Others have been involved in the preparation and safe storage of the vaccinations.

Dr Jennie Joyce, GP and clinical lead for Foundry PCN, said: “Clinical pharmacists are an integral part of the teams delivering the covid vaccination in primary care. They have been involved from the start often giving up their own free time and working extra hours to provide pharmaceutical oversight to the vaccination clinics. The pharmacists are just one group of unsung heroes that have been helping support the effort to vaccinate people.”

Akshay Phatak, one of the pharmacists working at the local vaccination centre at Foundry PCN, said: “I am proud to be part of national COVID vaccination programme, in a meaningful way, with my skills as a pharmacist.

“It’s immensely rewarding to support the vaccination team for array of pharmaceutical matters such as vaccine stock management to answering clinical queries. We support the vaccinators for standard operating procedures and I’m also a vaccinator myself. Pharmacists encourage best practice for quality improvement and minimising risk as well as brainstorming new ideas to reach out to the community. It’s a very varied role.

“Our shared vision to help prevent most vulnerable to COVID from developing severe health issues and leading by the example to debunk some misinformation spreading across some communities in regards to the safety of the vaccine. We managed to run our region’s first community clinic in a local mosque with help of dedicated GPs, nurse, pharmacists, admin staff and with all important help from the community volunteers.

“We have to save our communities, including care homes, from this fatal disease and pharmacists, like myself, will do their best to play our role helping NHS.”

As well as clinical pharmacists, the wider medicines optimisation team at the CCG have also been involved in supporting PCN sites with clinical and pharmaceutical queries surrounding the safe and appropriate use of the vaccine.

The vaccination programme continues in Sheffield, patients aged over 65 and those aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions will be invited for their vaccination once the top 4 priority groups have been vaccinated.

People aged over 70, or those who are extremely clinically vulnerable, who haven’t been invited for their vaccination yet are being encouraged to book an appointment via www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccinaation or by calling the national booking centre on the free number 119.

Patients who refused the vaccination when initially offered but who may have since changed their mind are also encouraged to book an appointment.

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

722 Prince of Wales Road
S9 4EU

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