UCL School of Pharmacy


The Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) on Community Pharmacies

30 June 2020

An online survey to explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the personal wellbeing and professional practice of community pharmacy teams in the UK.

Community pharmacy teams have been at the frontline dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As doctors’ surgeries closed their doors to patients and general practitioners (GPs) were told to switch to digital consultations, pharmacists were left to deal with patients face to face.

Despite being the first port of call for patients during this unnerving time, pharmacists and their teams were not explicitly defined as key workers in the governments list of key workers. After a backlash from pharmacy professional representative bodies the health secretary, Matt Hancock, made a statement identifying pharmacists as critical key workers. 

A close-up of a virus

During the peak of the pandemic several short surveys were conducted to explore the immediate effect of the pandemic on pharmacists across various sectors. Focusing on the impact of the pandemic on pharmacists’ workloads and ability to obtain crucial supplies.

Several important themes emerged from these surveys including: the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) provided to pharmacists, stock shortages and rising costs of medicines, staff shortages and increased workloads. However, none of them asked questions about personal well-being and many focused solely on pharmacists not the entire pharmacy team.

This survey not only looks at the impact on professional practice but also on the emotional and physical well-being of the pharmacy team. There is also an opportunity for pre-registration pharmacists to share their experiences and opinions on the delay of the registration exam.  

The survey is open to all members of the community pharmacy team including pharmacists, pre-registration pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, accredited checking technicians, dispensers, healthcare assistants or other members of the team who have worked in community pharmacy during the pandemic. 

The survey is available online now via the link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/COVID_PHARMACY until the end of July 2020. 

Ethical approval for the project has been obtained from the Medway School of Pharmacy Ethics Committee.


Prof Michael Heinrich (UCL School of Pharmacy) 
Email: m.heinrich@ucl.ac.uk  

Dr Sukvinder K Bhamra (Medway School of Pharmacy)
Email: s.k.bhamra@kent.ac.uk
Twitter: @Sukybhamra