Coronavirus in Scotland: Temporary medicines delivery service set up for vulnerable Scots during lockdown

A temporary medicines delivery service will be set up in Scotland to prevent vulnerable patients from having to venture out to collect prescriptions, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

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The service is expected to run from the end of January to about March, and will be available to about 1.5 million people across the country including those who have been shielding and others who pharmacists judge would benefit from the scheme.

Many pharmacies already offer a delivery service, but the scheme will offer a “more consistent and comprehensive service”.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that the scheme, developed with Community Pharmacy Scotland, will be funded with £5 million from the Scottish Government.

"We know that some people find it difficult to visit their local pharmacy, either because of their clinical conditions or because the nearest pharmacy is some way away,” she said at the coronavirus daily update on Monday.

“And that is always true during the winter months when bad weather makes it harder for people to walk to pharmacies, especially if they are required to queue outside before being served.

"Many pharmacies already offer deliveries to some people, but we want to establish a more consistent and comprehensive service.

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"For that reason we’re investing £5 million to establish an NHS medicines delivery service, which will be available to approximately 1.5 million people across the country, including those who have been shielding, and other people who pharmacists believe would benefit from the service.

"The service is expected to be operational by the end of this month, and will be available until at least the end of March, although we will keep that under review.

"This will reduce the need for people to go outside for their medicines at a time when transmission rates are still high, and it will help people who struggle to get to their nearest pharmacy and ensure that everyone has access to the medication that they need.”

Ms Sturgeon also announced that 1,429 positive coronavirus tests have been recorded in the past 24 hours, and that that 264,991 people have so far been given a first dose of a vaccine in Scotland.

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