Pharmacy services

COVID-19 Update

Ordering your prescription only medicines

Please do not ask for additional supplies of your regular prescription-only medicines from the GP. 

The GPs have been instructed NOT to supply additional volumes of medicines and NOT to supply medicines earlier than they are due to be ordered. 

This is in keeping with advice in the UK and to protect all the members of the community and make sure we have enough stock of medicines on island for everyone.

Analgesics and self-care items for potential COVID-19 infections

We always advise that each home has a small supply of medicines kept in a secure place for the treatment of minor illness. 

It is understandable that families wish to keep a stock of medicines should they become ill or need to self-isolate. 

The current advice is to use paracetamol for the headaches and fever associated with Covid-19 infections, but you may wish to purchase other items in  case you need them. 

Your pharmacist will be able to advise you on some practical items you can keep in. 

Please be mindful of the shortage of 'over-the-counter' medicines and please do not stockpile. 

Many pharmacies are restricting the amounts that can be purchased to one pack per patient of paracetamol (tablets and liquid).

Advice on safe return of medicines to pharmacies

Members of the public who wish to return unwanted or out-of-date medicines to their local pharmacy are being reminded about safety measures in place during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Community pharmacies are continuing to accept waste medicines for disposal to avoid the risk of accidents, misuse or overdose by patients or members of their household. It remains an important service during the current very busy time for pharmacies, but must be conducted safely. 

Anyone planning to return medicines from a household where there has been a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus should store the items securely in a safe area at home in sealed bags, for seven days. 

This precaution is in place as it is known the virus can lie on surfaces for a number of days; after a week the items can be returned to a pharmacy in sealed bags. Regular collections are being made from pharmacies but as some have limited storage areas, it is asked that the pharmacy is contacted first before returning large quantities of medicines of any type.  

All sharps and controlled drugs must be separated from other medicines before being handed in, or the pharmacy will not be able to accept them, and sharps can only be accepted in an appropriate container. 

Medicines should never be placed in the normal household waste or in the drain system.

The prescribing of medicine is the most common form of therapeutic intervention used by Health Services, with medicines playing a crucial role in maintaining health, preventing illness, managing chronic conditions and curing disease.

Primary Care Pharmacy

Manx Care has a duty to ensure that medicines are procured, used and managed wisely.

Currently the Department has a small team of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who are working in primary care to improve the use of medicines for our population.

Their activities include:

  • Working in GP surgeries to answer medication queries, audit prescribing and reduce the risks associated with medicines.
  • Undertake clinical medication reviews for patients as requested by the GP or wider multi-disciplinary team.
  • Supporting patients in our DHSC supported living environments by undertaking clinical medication reviews for older adults and learning disability clients.

Further details of the activities of the team can be found in the Medicines Strategy 2019-2021.

Medicines Optimisation Strategy

This document sets out the key priorities for the next two years, articulating how the delivery of our strategic aims will contribute to a continuous improvement in prescribing practices on the Island. In summary, this will be achieved by:

  • Optimising the use of high quality medicines whist considering effectiveness and value for money.
  • Ensuring that care is provided in the most appropriate setting through enhanced integrated working and shared care practices between primary, secondary and social care prescribing.
  • Improving the safety and quality of medicines prescribed on the Island, with particular focus on the most vulnerable members of our society.

Community Pharmacy

As qualified healthcare professionals, pharmacists can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.

If symptoms suggest it's something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure you get the help you need. For example they will tell you if you need to see a GP.

All pharmacists train for 5 years in the use of medicines. They are also trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice.

Most pharmacies have a private consultation room where you can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.

Pharmacy feedback

A consultation was launched to ask for feedback on the public's use of, and satisfaction with community pharmacy services on the island; in addition, the public were asked to comment on their opinions of introducing new services into community pharmacy and what these might be.

We received 325 responses in total, with 227 being submitted via the Consultation Hub and 98 written responses to the consultation.

We would like to thank all those people who took the time to give us feedback and the information supplied will be used to assist Manx Care in making decision about pharmacy services in the future.