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Workplace social distancing ‘impossible’ for pharmacy staff

The majority of pharmacists are unable to maintain social distancing from other staff in their workplace, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has warned. A snapshot survey by the RPS revealed that for 94% of pharmacists it is impossible to maintain distancing of two metres from colleagues in areas like the dispensary. Pharmacies “are often small and simply don’t allow for social distancing,” said the RPS, adding that 40% of respondents reported being unable to maintain social distancing from patients.

A third of respondents to the RPS survey said they were unable to source continuous supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), following on from a recent survey in which two thirds of pharmacists doubted they would have sufficient supplies of surgical masks to last the week. RPS president Sandra Gidley said: “It’s clear the vast majority of frontline pharmacy teams are unable to maintain safe social distancing either from staff or patients. They must have access to PPE to protect themselves, their patients and their families.”