A message to patients in these unprecedented times

We ask for your help to reduce the burden on our already overstretched staff. We are experiencing a significantly higher volume of calls and ask that you read the following announcement:

  • Request for medications:
    We are unable to supply extra medications to cover extended periods of self-isolation, most patients will receive 56 days’ worth at a time. This is based on national advice, as supply of additional medications may put a strain on the supply chain and could lead to potential shortages. If you are struggling with ordering or picking up of your medications from a pharmacy during these times, your community pharmacy should be able to offer advice.Most pharmacies are providing a delivery service-we are extending this service to our dispensing patients with effect from Monday 23 March.It has been brought to our notice that some chains of pharmacies are currently not extending their delivery services. If in doubt, please discuss directly with your nominated pharmacy.
  • Paracetamol:
    We are particularly aware of a shortage of paracetamol both over the counter and on prescription and ask that you don’t ask for supplies on prescription‘just in case’. Pharmacies are asking us to ration supplies given on prescription, and we will need to give to those that require them for long term conditions.Even those of you who usually get a large number on repeat prescription, will only be issued 50 tablets at a time. We request that you use the medication with some discretion and sparingly. We accept that this may not be an acceptable alternative to some, but please do understand that these are unprecedented circumstances.
  • Ibuprofen:
    We are also getting numerous calls regarding taking ibuprofen and certain blood pressure tablets due to recent coverage in the media. Current guidance from the NHS is that there is no strong evidence that ibuprofen makes coronavirus (COVID-19) worse, but until there is more information,we advise you to take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus. Speak to your community pharmacist to see if they are able to give you a small supply.

The media has also reported that the blood pressure medications called ace-inhibitors (ending in “pril”) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ending in “sartan”), may increase the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Guidance from the British Cardiovascular Society states that patients should continue on their treatment and that there is no evidence to suggest this is true. We appreciate your support through these difficult times and urge you all to stay safe.