Residents are being asked to help reduce pressure on local pharmacies over the coming weeks.

The coronavirus pandemic is placing a big demand on community pharmacy teams across the city, with local pharmacies working incredibly hard to safely supply the vital medications people need while making sure they support social distancing measures to help prevent the spread of the disease.  

They have placed limits on how many people can be in store at any one time and are asking customers to stand 2 metres apart when in store and whilst queuing. Please be patient and cooperate with this requirement which is for both staff and customer safety.

Please do not stockpile medicines or other goods; only buy the medicines you need now for you and your family. This will ensure there are enough medicines for the whole community.

Please do not contact your pharmacy or GP surgery to order your regular medication before it is due. You should order it when you have 7 to 10 days of medication left.

If you have repeat prescriptions and are self isolating, ask a friend, neighbour or relative to pick up your medicines for you. They can drop them off outside your door so that you can avoid face to face contact. And if you are collecting medication on behalf of a vulnerable person, please check with the pharmacy that it is ready to collect before visiting.

Remember, if you have symptoms of coronavirus - a new continuous cough or a high temperature - please do not visit the pharmacy. Instead, stay home and follow NHS advice on self isolation.  

John Denley, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Everyone in this city has a key role to play in the fight against coronavirus, including the hard working members of our community pharmacy teams. Not surprisingly, they are feeling the pressure at the moment, but by following this guidance we can all help reduce demand on them at this key time.

“People should also be aware that some pharmacies will close for an extended period of time over the coming weeks. This is to enable them to replenish stocks, dispense prescriptions and clean surfaces appropriately. It is therefore advised that people check opening hours before visiting – and of course only visit if absolutely essential.”

Dr Tim Horsbourgh, Local Medical Committee Secretary, said: “We are asking that our patients allow time for prescriptions to be processed by local practices. Please order when you have around a week left and where possible please use the online ordering services as the phone lines in practices can be busier than normal at the moment.”

Stephen Noble, Local Pharmacy Committee Representative, added: “Our local pharmacies are well prepared to respond but we need you to help us to help you. Please carry on as normal in terms of ordering the right medicines, in the right amount and at the right time. If everyone follows this simple advice it will ease the pressure on the pharmacy system and ensure that everyone can get the medicines they need, when they need it.”

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at NHS - Advice for everyone.