Health Minister Robin Swann has visited Gordon’s chemist in Ballymoney to meet some of the volunteers of the medicines delivery service, established to help community pharmacies and patients.
To date, almost 34,000 deliveries of medicines have been made throughout Northern Ireland. A total of 252 pharmacies have registered to be part of the delivery service and 120 community groups have volunteered their time.
The scheme was developed and commissioned by the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and is being coordinated by the Community Development and Health Network (CDHN).
Health Minister Robin Swann said: “I’m aware that community pharmacies have been working extremely hard to meet the increased demand for home deliveries of medicines within their communities and I thank them for all their hard work.
“During this outbreak, we have seen many excellent examples of volunteering in the battle against Covid-19. I was fortunate to meet Anne and her granddaughter Olivia today and they are a great example of what can be achieved when a community works together.
“I am very appreciative of the work co-ordinated by Community Development Health Network and carried out by the volunteer network which is helping to ensure that people have access to their prescription medicines.”
Joanne Morgan, Director Community Development and Health Network: “When the crisis hit, we were very aware of the rising numbers of people having to self-isolate and shield and their need for medication to be delivered to their homes. The real added value of this scheme is the other types of support that volunteers have provided when delivering medication, like having a chat or bringing groceries. These are vital connections for people who might otherwise feel very isolated and lonely.
“We want to say a heartfelt thank you to all of the pharmacies that have signed up and their community partners, this scheme is a great example of community development in practice.”
John Clark, Vice-Chairman CPNI/ General Manager and Superintendent Pharmacist, Gordons Chemist: “The work and commitment of all the team at CDHN cannot go unrecognised, they quickly mobilised a network of volunteers to support community pharmacies during an unprecedented time.
“I would like to offer my sincere thanks and appreciation to all of the volunteers who supported the pharmacy sector with the delivery of medicines to some of our most vulnerable patients.”