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The toughest week I’ve ever had in community pharmacy


Thoughts on the week that was if anyone cares.


This last fortnight has without a doubt been some of the hardest I’ve ever experienced in pharmacy. However, having witnessed how some people reacted to the pressure it’s almost as if they’ve never had a really tough time in work before.


The response from the Government level all the way to branch level and public perception was too slow. We’ve never experienced an issue like this before and I think there has always been the feeling that it will never happen to you.


Now is not the time for political point-scoring. If you are wishing illness on other people you are a horrible person.


I am proud of how Community Pharmacy Wales and Chief Pharmaceutical Officier for Wales Andrew Evans have responded in Wales. I feel this especially acutely when I compare what has been happening in England.


We are all scared.


Myself, my colleagues, GPs, family, friends. This is unknown territory. It’s ok to feel this way. But most of us will be ok. We can only hope the measures we take individually will protect us and those in contact with us


If you are or have disregarded government advice at any stage you are selfish and ignorant. Listen in the future. Advice is there to be taken. You do not know better.


Most people recognise the hard work and risks taken by all front line and public-facing staff during this pandemic.


Some don’t.


They are not worth worrying about. The thing that grates on me is that our job as community pharmacists means we are there for these people irrespective of their viewpoints.


I am immensely proud of my team and my profession. Pharmacy is seen as an add on by many. This crisis has highlighted how important we are to communities, particularly when GP surgeries close their doors.


Without us, the NHS cannot function. Be proud, pharmacy.


Aled Jones is a Branch Pharmacist, based in Rhondda, South Wales.





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