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With over 60,000 pharmacists across the UK and many of those based in the West Midlands, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, has added his support to a national campaign to call on the public to be patient and polite when visiting their local pharmacy.

The campaign follows shocking stories from pharmacists across the UK who have been verbally abused and threatened by customers.

According to the pharmacist’s union the Pharmacists’ Defence Association, community pharmacies are currently experiencing unprecedented demand for their services and safety measures to protect staff and customers from Covid-19 has resulted in some cases, long delays and shortages of stock.

Unfortunately, this has led to pharmacists and their staff experiencing verbal abuse and threats from customers.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said:

“Earlier this week I launched an emergency update to my Police and Crime Plan during the coronavirus outbreak.

“Within that updated plan, the protection for key services during the crisis, such as health and retail is paramount. This includes pharmacists who are a vital frontline service.

“I have made it absolutely clear that those people who intimidate or target health or retail staff should be dealt with robustly and they will be.”

Paul Day, Director, Pharmacists’ Defence Association, said:

“”Patients need to understand that pharmacists are part of the health system and dispensing medicines is not simply a retail transaction. Pharmacists are making sure that the medicines will not cause the patient harm before they provide them and that takes a bit longer.  Just like anyone in the NHS they need our support not abuse.

“No one should have to put up with abuse and threatening behaviour in the line of their professional duty. We are all in this together and the situation is unlikely to change for many weeks. Please show tolerance, patience and understanding when visiting your local pharmacy.”

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