Public Health Dorset along with Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP), BCP Council, Dorset Council, EDAS, EDP Drugs & Alcohol Services, and the Local Pharmaceutical Committee have been working together.
Will Haydock, Public Health Dorset’s senior health programme advisor, said, “The people who use our services are often some of the most vulnerable in society in relation to Covid-19. They’re potentially more likely to be exposed to the virus, and then more likely to suffer a severe illness as a result, because of underlying health conditions such as COPD or diabetes.
“It’s therefore a priority for us to reduce their chances of contracting the virus and passing it on to other people. Normally our service users have to visit the pharmacy at least once a week – sometimes every day – to pick up their medication, and for the most at risk we immediately wanted to reduce the number of these visits if at all possible.”
Dorset Council’s highways team and BCP Council’s passenger transport team – and vehicles – have been redeployed to support this effort.
Mike Westwood, Dorset Council community highways manager, said, “By making a few changes to the way we work, we were able to free-up a number of workers and vehicles, and there was no shortage of staff willing to take up this new role.
“With support from our public health colleagues in Dorset, the team has been able to work in a safe an effective manner, and they have found it very rewarding.
“Carrying out this service for the NHS on behalf of Dorset Council is a great honour and we are very proud as a team to have been able to help.”
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