I am writing this blog on a Friday morning from home. It is day three of remote working, now that we at The Pharmaceutical Journal, along with the rest of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), have temporarily left our offices in Tower Hamlets.
As with most offices, it has become common practice for people to work from home from time to time, but it is an entirely different enterprise to scatter whole teams, departments and support services across London and beyond. Despite this, we are working hard to maintain membership services and keep our workplans and objectives on track from laptops balanced on kitchen tables and bedroom desks.
However, this disruption is nothing compared with the immense pressure you are experiencing in pharmacy right now. Pharmacists are being asked to do things that you have never had to do before, and your role will never have been needed more than now.
Pharmacists across all sectors are demonstrating how important this is in the midst of a healthcare crisis and how they can adapt and continue to ensure safe and effective patient care
You already play a critical role in advising patients on any number of conditions and are central to ensuring that vital supply chains remain intact, so that patients receive their medicines. Pharmacists across all sectors are demonstrating how important this is in the midst of a healthcare crisis and how they can adapt and continue to ensure safe and effective patient care. This will not change over the coming months.
In a crisis, reliable information is crucial, and misinformation can be dangerous. As such, The Pharmaceutical Journal team is committed to doing everything we can to provide you with the most up-to-date information and advice as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds.
Our news team will report on the latest developments as they happen, presenting data and telling your stories from the front line. For instance, we have begun a live blog, which sorts through the day’s developments and presents the most important information in a bite-sized format.
Our clinical and research team, responsible for all the high-quality CPD and learning that we publish each week, will strive to cover your learning needs as they emerge and as clinical and COVID-19 policies and guidance form; updating them regularly, as appropriate.
We also want to keep your spirits up with tales on how pharmacy teams are innovating and helping their patients across the country, despite completely unprecedented working conditions.
Of course, we rely greatly on the contributions of in-demand healthcare professionals and clinical researchers. We are also fully aware that this requires the attention and effort of people whose valuable time is limited. We will make whatever accommodations necessary to avoid adding to that pressure.
We will continue to make all our content on COVID-19 freely available to everyone. Our colleagues across the RPS are working hard to provide support for all pharmacy teams through this crisis. This profession-wide service is only possible because of our members. Similarly, MedicinesComplete is responding to the surge in demand from the NHS.
And while the creation of content is made possible by portable technology, laptops, email and online accounts, there was still a bit to be done byThe Pharmaceutical Journal team to identify how we change workflows and approve content for publication, as up until our offices closed, we were still using printouts to review, proofread and sign off content.
These are but the first few days. Our focus for now is making sure the print edition of The Pharmaceutical Journal goes out as usual, and that there is neither a drop off in output or journalistic standards. We will also continue to publish all the information on our platform: www.pharmaceutical-journal.com.
This issue goes to press in the last week of March, so everyone is busy working on that. We then turn to April, and so on. Nobody can say how long it will be before we can return to normal life. Let us hope that it won’t be long, but be prepared that it may take longer than we expect.
Thank you for your support and the work that you do — we hope we can support you in any way we can.
Tony Scully is publisher of Pharmaceutical Journal Publications