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Volunteers helping pharmacies deliver medicine to residents

All 147 pharmacies in Dorset have access to an army of volunteers to help them get through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Public Health Dorset is working with the Local Pharmaceutical Committee, Volunteer Centre Dorset and Community Action Network to help find volunteers who can help collect medicines from local pharmacies and deliver them to residents who are self-isolating or are unable to attend the pharmacy to collect in person.

Pharmacies across Dorset have been asked to let Public Health Dorset know if they need volunteers. On receipt of the request for volunteers, we send the information over to our volunteer centres who match the pharmacies up with residents waiting to volunteer.

Robin Mitchell, Pharmacist at Victoria Park Pharmacy in Dorchester, said: “We started using volunteers more than two weeks ago and it has been working well. They are enthusiastic and very helpful. We got our volunteers assigned through the Volunteer Centre Dorset. It was reassuring to know they were DBS checked.

“We gave them a little bit of training and soon assigned them jobs. It’s been a real benefit to have them as we have been able to get urgent deliveries out quicker and to cope better with the increased demand. It’s also nice to be able to strengthen our community ties.”

Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “This is a very uncertain time for everyone and an extra stress we don’t want is for unwell residents to be worried because they can’t get access to their prescriptions.

“I want to thank the pharmacies that are working harder than ever and to the volunteers. We could not do this without you.”

Cllr Lesley Dedman, BCP Council Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “One of the positives to come out of the Coronavirus crisis is the community spirit and the overwhelming reaction of people wanting to help.

“Thank you to all the volunteers who are helping to collect and deliver medicine to those residents who need it. And thank you to all the volunteers helping their communities in this difficult time.”

If you are having trouble with getting a prescription contact your pharmacy or GP.

If you live in the Dorset Council area and need help to get essentials such as food call 01305 221000 or visit www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/emergencies-severe-weather/emergencies/coronavirus/ community-response/communities-and-volunteering.aspx

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