New research on key role of community pharmacy in COVID-19 pandemic

New research on key role of community pharmacy in COVID-19 pandemic

July 30, 2020

Research into the role of community pharmacy during pandemics, with the express aim of producing guidelines to support practice, is to be conducted by Aston University.

Primarily focused on the COVID-19 outbreak, the Aston School of Pharmacy will lead an academic study into how community pharmacy can support the public health agenda and adapt its services to help meet the challenges presented by pandemics.

The researchers will undertake a literature review and hold interviews with key stakeholders such as pharmacy staff, patients and GPs in their bid to develop ‘real world’ guidance to be shared across the NHS.

Funded jointly by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the researchers from Aston will be working in collaboration with the Universities of Hull, Oxford and Sheffield, as well as academics in Australia (University of Tasmania) and Canada (University of British Columbia). This will enable the team to draw on learnings from other countries and previous pandemics.

Once the research stage is complete, the findings will be used to develop key guidelines for the sector and the wider NHS to better utilise pharmacy during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Commenting on the research, Alastair Buxton, PSNC Director of NHS Services, said:

“Community pharmacy teams have really gone the extra mile during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is important that we recognise their achievements and also learn from their experiences. This project will help the profession to do both.

“We look forward to the research helping the sector and PSNC consider how else community pharmacies can best play their part in supporting patients and the NHS, as the pandemic continues to take its course.”

Dr Ian Maidment, Reader in Clinical Pharmacy, Aston University said:

“Community pharmacy has a key role to play in the current COVID-19 pandemic. With over 11,700 high street locations, community pharmacies can ensure people from different socio-economic groups and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups have equal access to vaccination and advice.

“This project will enable us to understand how, why, for whom and when community pharmacy can effectively support the public health response to pandemics such as COVID-19 and other future health emergencies.”



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