Mapping the resilience performance of community pharmacy to maintain patient safety during the Covid-19 pandemic

George Peat, Janice Olaniyan, Beth Fylan, Liz Breen, Chloe Grindey, Isabel Hague, David Phillip Alldred

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The first UK wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 placed unprecedented stress on community pharmacy. Various policies and initiatives were announced during this period to support community pharmacy to continue to perform in a manner that prioritised patient safety. However, little is understood about how these policies and initiatives were implemented by staff working in community pharmacy, and the system adaptions and responses that were initiated to maintain patient safety. OBJECTIVE: The study aimed to investigate how staff working in UK community pharmacy during the first waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 responded and adapted to system stressors to maintain patient safety. METHODS: We adopted a qualitative interview approach, underpinned by Resilient Healthcare theory, with interview data collected between July 2020 and January 2021. Data were synthesised and analysed using Framework Analysis. RESULTS: 23 community pharmacy staff from England and Scotland were interviewed. We identified five themes supported by between two and six sub-themes: 1. Covid-19, an impending threat to system. 2. Patient safety stressors during the first waves of Covid-19.3. Altering the system, responding to system stressors. 4. Monitoring and adjusting. 5. Learning for the future. CONCLUSION: Privileging the accounts of community pharmacy staff working on the frontline during the pandemic illuminated how responses and adaptions were developed and deployed, how continual monitoring occurred, and the factors that supported or hindered system resilience. The key learning derived from this study can serve to shorten the gap between ‘work as imagined’ and ‘work as done’, and in doing so, support the future resilience performance of community pharmacy during future outbreaks of Covid-19 or similar events.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3534-3541
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number9
Early online date17 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes

Cite this