Pharmacy leaders in Surrey and Sussex give thanks to those who give their time during coronavirus crisis

Pharmacy leaders in Surrey and Sussex give thanks to those who give their time during coronavirus crisis

June 2, 2020

At the start of national Volunteers’ Week  Surrey and Sussex LPC members are saying a massive ’thank you’ to the thousands of volunteers who give up their own time to help make sure our most vulnerable citizens continue to receive medicines and prescriptions throughout the Coronavirus crisis. 

As the country continues to tackle the COVID-19 virus community pharmacy has  been overwhelmed by how communities and citizens have come togther to help NHS community pharmacy contractors ensure that essential medicines get through to those who need them most. Our colleagues have enjoyed working with the voluntary and community sector, NHS community responders,  Healthwatch, local council Community Response Hubs and countless more to make sure no one goes without their medicines or prescriptions from their local pharmacy.

In an email sent across Sussex and Surrey the three local pharmaceutical committee (LPC) chairs acknowledged that pharmacists have been working as hard as they can to help everyone during these intense and difficult times, with phones red-hot with people asking for help.

Craig McEwan, chair of East Sussex LPC, Mark Donaghy chair of West Sussex LPC and Rupi Bhasin, chair Surrey LPC said: 

“… being inundated with requests for help has sometimes left us fearful that patients who were isolating and vulnerable could miss out.

“But,  incredible numbers of people across Surrey and Sussex have stood forward to pick up prescriptions for friends, family and neighbours who have been unable to for themselves, while others have trained to work side-by-side with pharmacy staff to deliver prescriptions to a standard operating procedure. All are helping save medicines deliveries for those who need them most.

“We really do think all these people are a shining example of how giving just a little bit of time can make a big difference and there has never been a more appropriate time to recognise, appreciate and thank volunteers for all the vital work they do for their communities” they added.

Community pharmacy is a key part of the NHS primary care team and has remained open throughout the Covid-19 crisis as one of the only NHS services to see walk-in patients face-to-face without an appointment.

Without help to distribute medicines and prescriptions teams might not have been able to see as many patients as they do for non Covid-19 symptoms, helping take pressure off urgent care and GP services, or been able to source and re-stock the essential items that everyone wants to have at home, or deep clean their premises regularly to help keep patients and staff safe. 

Pharmacy as a sector continues to face challenges as Covid-19 progresses and as each and every pharmacy is different (large chains, medium and small chains and independents) our colleagues will face these challenges in different ways. We really cannot express our gratitude enough to everyone who has , and continues to, help.

Volunteers are urged to make themselves known next time they are in pharmacy so individual colleagues can say thank you too.

(edited 4 June 2020 at 12:51)


There has never been a more appropriate time to recognise, appreciate and thank volunteers for all the vital work they do for their communities.

The LPCs want to share pharmacy stories to give these people the recognition they deserve for their amazing work.

All you need to do is send a message on Twitter with as much information as possible using #VolunteersWeek2020 and tagging the LPCs by using @CPSS_LPCs.


 More information

Download and readBriefing note (COVID19) Using volunteers to gets medicines to vulnerable people (updated 14 April 2020)

Other resources available to pharmacists to help get medicines to patients are:




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