Midhurst Pharmacy owner speaks of huge pressures working on the 'forgotten frontline'
"It's hugely stressful, pharmacies are kind of the forgotten frontline at the moment."
Those were words of Raj Rohilla, owner of Midhurst Pharmacy, where staff are working around the clock to keep local residents safe and healthy during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Rohilla revealed that every day is as busy as the Christmas period for him and his colleagues at the pharmacy in North Street
He said: "GP surgeries are not seeing patients face to face so the pharmacy is the frontline for patients to come and get health care advice. You don't need an appointment.
"We've had a lot of families isolating around the Midhurst area.
"We've seen a lot of new prescriptions where addresses are from all over the country. It might be their second homes, their children are away at boarding school or it is that they have decided to come here to stay with their elderly parents."
Mr Rohilla said that whilst the 'shutters are down' on GP surgeries, pharmacies are the 'front face of primary care'.
"People are coming to us face to face," he said. "We haven't had the PPE either. We've been told by the NHS to go out and buy it.
"We have a staff meeting every morning to set up for the day.
"We used to have a staggered lunch hour and the pharmacy would be kept open. Now we actually need that mental break and closing for an hour to cleanse the pharmacy, sit down to have something to eat and a mental break.
"It's also time to do the prescriptions without the phone going off constantly."
To raise the spirits of staff, and ‘to say thank you to all our fellow NHS and key workers’, the pharmacy has been compiling a window display of rainbows sent in by children.
Mr Rohilla added: "It's been very stressful but this is something positive that we are trying to do. It's lovely to see the kids' paintings coming through." Read more hereMidhurst Pharmacy is open six days a week, 9am to 5.30pm from Monday to Friday, and 9am to 1pm on Saturday.
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