NI medtech app reports huge surge in locum pharmacists helping during COVID-19 crisis

  • Photo: Jonathan Clarke, CEO of Locate a Locum

    With GP surgeries closing, there is increasing pressure on pharmacists who are now at greater risk of catching COVID-19, said a spokesperson for pharmaceutical tech platform, Locate A Locum.

    Its website and app use ‘on demand' technology that helps pair thousands of pharmacies around the UK with over 12,000 pharmacists.

    The company said it has seen a huge surge in locum pharmacists who want to work in order to give tired and sick pharmacists a break.

    Locate a Locum said it has also helped a number of ex-pharmacists who wish to re-register and become compliant in order to help out other industry professionals in their time of need.  

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    Rebecca Maguire is a pharmacist in Woodbourne Pharmacy near Belfast. She said: “As if community pharmacy wasn’t stressful already, working at the minute is very scary.

    “Pharmacists are exposed but continue to serve the community as best we can. I think pharmacy staff are the most crucial healthcare staff at the minute in the community and we would just like respect."

    Another locum pharmacist who wished to remain anonymous stated:

    “I think it’s essential in times of distress that as community locums we are supporting the maintenance in the consistency of healthcare advice, prescription provision and reassurance to the public in order to support our secondary care health professionals in hospitals to allow them to treat the vulnerable patients affected by the virus.

    “There’s definitely a tangible air of uncertainty and concern whilst working but being physically available and providing up to date advice and reassurance to patients and customers is the chief reason why I’ve decided to continue during this time.”

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    Jonathon Clarke, CEO at Locate a Locum added that how the pharmacy profession has reacted to this challenge has made him proud to be a pharmacist.

    He continued: “Ensuring pharmacies stay open in this difficult time remains Locate a Locum's core mission and we are in a great position to do this with one of the largest healthcare professionals databases in the UK."

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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