Community Resilience

Boots UK on the frontline of COVID-19 testing for NHS staff

As Business in the Community’s Responsible Business of the Year 2019, Boots UK have a strong and trusted heritage in supporting the healthcare of the nation, and have always stepped up to support the community and the NHS.

COVID-19: Our members taking responsible business action

“I am extremely proud that Boots is supporting COVID-19 testing for NHS workers. Boots has been at the heart of UK healthcare for 171 years and has always come forward to support the community in times of need.”

Seb James, Managing Director, Boots UK and Republic of Ireland

Drive-through testing

Boots is working to support the government and NHS to set up and resource new drive-through testing stations for COVID-19. Testing is specifically for NHS staff by invitation only, and trials started at their Nottingham site last week, and the testing programme is now live.

Boots is working with the NHS to recruit trained professionals – both Boots colleagues and from the wider community. Locations are being defined but will be spread across the UK. However, they will not be in Boots stores. This allows for Boots workers to focus on supporting their customers and patients.

Protecting staff and customers

Boots has announced several measures to protect its pharmacists, colleagues and customers in stores; 20,000 protective visors have been ordered and will be landing in every store across the UK and ROI as an optional measure for store colleagues. Boots is one of the first retailers to explore this piece of equipment.

This follows 2,500 Perspex screens for pharmacy counters – one per store – that are also being distributed countrywide, in addition to other equipment to help with social distancing strategies.

These actions are additions to a host of precautions store leaders and the pharmacist are taking to ensure the safety of its essential workers, and to allow people to get the advice, healthcare, medicine and essential products that they need. Additional measures are being taken within Boots UK warehouses such as social distancing guidance and increased hand-washing facilities.

Social distancing education in stores

Boots UK says there are several other simple but crucial safeguards being implemented.

Stores will have floor stickers to help customers understand social distancing. Seating has been temporarily removed to make more space for queues. Boots is providing staff with sashes to communicate social distancing to customers; it is encouraging card transactions and are suggesting people bring their own pen to sign prescriptions. Each store is regularly deep cleaned, which may require short closures during the day.

Named an essential public service by the government, Boots UK is focusing all efforts on taking pressure off hospitals and the NHS as it comes under increasing strain.

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