A crucial time for change in pharmacy
Having grappled with the coronavirus pandemic for over a year, now is the time for the pharmacist profession to take stock. Placing pharmacists front and foremost among consumers as the most accessible healthcare professional has emphasised the importance of their role. Global GSK research has found there has been a fundamental alteration in the perception of the public – and the profession – about pharmacists’ future.17
Instead of a transactional dispensing role, the pandemic has shown how integral pharmacies are to the community.17 GSK’s research reveals US pharmacists feel their passion and personal fulfilment had been reignited, while colleagues in China believe it could reframe pharmacists as wellness promoters rather than disease treaters.17
In some countries, COVID-19 has already, out of necessity, resulted in new pharmacy opportunities:15, 19–21
- Repeat prescribing: Renewal of repeat prescriptions for patients with chronic conditions
- Medicines access: Ability to dispense hospital-only medicines. In Portugal, 91% of patients wished to retain this service
- Vaccination providers: Approval to administer flu vaccinations, creating networks for future COVID-19 immunisations
- Technology users: Accelerated use of electronic prescribing and patient video calls, e.g. in Italy 60% of pharmacies now offer telephone consultations
- Extended roles: Some European pharmacies became a safe space for domestic abuse victims to access help, while pharmacist involvement in the case management of mental health patients has been mooted.
Building on these opportunities highlights the importance of having sufficient mental resilience to be able to take on new roles.
Taking a more dedicated approach and making resilience and mental health and wellbeing a key area of focus to manage the long-term impact of COVID-19 is important. Generic tips such as eating healthily, focusing on important/urgent tasks, limiting social media, doing breathing exercises can definitely help to support better mental health.22
However, there is little data on how resilience can be built among pharmacists.23 Pre-pandemic work among healthcare professionals has identified a range of resilience enablers, some of which are organisational, while others are personal.24
Taking a more dedicated approach and making resilience and mental wellbeing a key area of focus to manage the long-term impact of COVID-19 is important.
Staying strong – Building resilience in pharmacy
Pharmacy teams have been on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic. This has had a big impact on their mental health and wellbeing and GSK wants to help. We are sharing the lessons learned from coping with COVID-19 and exploring how they could help pharmacists build mental resilience for the future.
How COVID-19 has impacted pharmacy
Pharmacists and their teams were on the frontline during the pandemic. Discover more about how rising to the COVID-19 challenge impacted every aspect of life for pharmacy teams.
Personal enablers of mental resilience in pharmacy
Get tips and advice on how to manage personal wellbeing at work to help support better mental health.
GSK support in mental resilience
Discover more about how GSK Consumer Healthcare is working with expert partners to support the mental health and wellbeing of pharmacy teams.