Getting medicine and picking up prescriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic

picture of a medicine bottle against a light blue backgroundIt’s important that people who are shielding or self-isolating at home can still access their medicines and prescriptions.

The advice for people who are shielding or self-isolating at home is that, in the first instance, they should ask friends, relatives, and neighbours to collect medicines for them. It’s important to still to still follow social distancing guidelines while you do this.

If you are shielding or isolating, ask them to drop it off outside your door so that you can avoid close face-to-face contact. Where possible, whoever has collected the medicine should place it on the doorstep, ring the bell / knock on the door and stand back to wait for an answer. Remember – never leave medication unattended.

This poster gives advice to those who are collecting a prescription for someone else.

If no-one is able to help collect your prescriptions, you can contact your nearest community hub for support.

If the community hub can’t help, your local pharmacy may be able to arrange to deliver your medicines. This service is only for the most vulnerable people, so family and friends should continue to collect medicines from pharmacies if they are able to.

If you’re planning to go to your local pharmacy:

  • Avoid pharmacies if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19: If you have a dry, persistent cough, fever or shortness of breath, please avoid entering your local pharmacies as you would any other healthcare setting. You can use the 111 coronavirus service if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Plan ahead and be patient: All pharmacies are under immense pressure and working around the clock to ensure that you get what you need. Allow time for your prescription to be processed – it can take up to seven days from when you request it from your GP to when it’s ready to collect from your pharmacy. Also make sure to plan ahead so you don’t run out over the Bank Holiday weekends.
  • Order medicines as normal: There is no need to stockpile medicines. Ordering extra prescriptions and buying more over the counter medicines than you need will contribute to disruption to the medicines supply chain.
  • Check opening times: Friends or family should check pharmacy opening hours before going to collect any prescriptions. The can do this on the NHS website.
  • Respect pharmacy staff: We are all in this together and everyone is doing the best they can under unprecedented circumstances.