Local ‘backline’ healthcare staff volunteer to deliver urgent and end-of-life prescriptions during lockdown

Non-clinical staff at Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Group are offering a helping hand to community nursing teams in Swindon and Wiltshire by delivering urgent and end-of-life medicines direct to people’s homes.

The initiative, which supported 20 Swindon residents during Easter week and has since expanded into Wiltshire, involves ICB volunteers being allocated a ‘job’ by the local community nursing team, according to where they live. The volunteer then goes to collect the prescription from a nominated pharmacy, before delivering it direct to the recipient’s door.

Emma Smith, a volunteer in Swindon who is also Acting Head of Urgent Care at Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said: “The situation we all find ourselves in at the moment is unprecedented, and the response we as healthcare staff need to take to stay on top of coronavirus needs to be equally unprecedented.

“Thankfully, our teams have pulled out all the stops to help the most vulnerable people in our community, and we are incredibly pleased that these deliveries can save a person the anxiety of worrying where their next prescription is coming from.

“At least it feels we’re doing our small part in a bigger system, and it supports the community nurses by allowing them to focus on the clinical demands of their job.”

It is hoped that the simple but hugely important initiative, which upholds current contactless delivery standards, will soon be extended to cover people living elsewhere in the region.

In Swindon, the volunteers are also in close contact with the ICB’s newly-established Community Support Hub, which has been set up to look at practical ways of helping people in the local community to stay well.

When the hub is notified that a vulnerable person is nearing the end of their current supply of medication, a call is made to one of the volunteers who makes the journey on behalf of the individual.

Watch Emma describe the volunteer role she’s taken on: 

Any person living in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon or Wiltshire who is currently unable to visit their pharmacy for vital medicine should contact these organisations for support:

  • Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub: 0300 003 4576 (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday) wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk
  • BaNES Compassionate Community Hub: 0300 247 0050 (9am to 5pm, seven days per week)