Community Response

Pharmacy – collection/deliver 

Pharmacy aims to support people who are unable to collect a prescription for themselves. Volunteers will typically support by collecting and delivering prescription medication, but it could also be for medical devices, glasses, or hearing aids to individuals. Collecting from a community pharmacy and delivering to the person’s home address.   

All collection locations must be within the community and not from a secondary healthcare setting i.e. hospital.    

Volunteers may be asked to deliver to the doorstep or, with patient consent, may enter the home address.    

The volunteer support for this activity is available either as a one-off or once a week for a maximum of 6 weeks.     

Getting started 

Before your first task  

  1. Please read the information entering somone's home, before you complete a task. 
  2. Please read the lone working guidance which must be followed when completing this activity. 
  3. If you are calling a person you are supporting, ensure you withhold your number. This is to protect you from unsolicited calls and to ensure safeguarding procedures are followed. You can do this by dialling 141 for Android or #31# for Apple before the person's number or go into your phone's settings. Do not click on the phone number within the task information without editing. You can read more about data protection and confidentiality as well as safeguarding. 
  4. It is important to uphold the confidentiality of the person at all times. You may receive/hear personal information or details through conversations. All forms of personal information must be treated with respect and be handled in a highly confidential way. 
  5. Think about how you safely store contact details, do not leave these in a place that other people can access. If you are able to lock these away in a safe place, please do so. Once the task is completed destroy this information, please ensure it is shredded in a confidential manner. 
  6. If you call and don’t get an answer, try again later that day. If you find that you are not able to make contact after 3 attempts please press the ‘PERSON DID NOT ANSWER’ button on the GoodSAM app, this will alert our Support Team to follow up.

Full guidance for using the app can be found in Using the GoodSAM app. 

Activity specific tips 

Step 1 – Arranging the collection

Volunteers should call the person to confirm they are collecting the prescription.  

  • Ask which pharmacy will have the prescribed medication. Ask whether the person pays for their prescriptions or has an exemption or pre-payment certificate. If they do pay, refer to the making paying for a prescription section below.  
  • You may need to provide some personal details to the pharmacy to collect the prescription such as the person’s name and address. Check this information with the person beforehand. Ask the pharmacist to place repeat prescription slip or any owing notes inside the bag and reseal with pharmacy sticker label. Follow any instructions given by the pharmacy team, for example temperature sensitive medicines.  
  • Let the person know what time you are going to collect and drop off the prescription.  
  • If you have agreed to take the goods into the home, ask them where they would like it, or handover at the front door.  
Step 2 – On delivery 
  • Knock and wait for the person to come to the door. Ask the person for their name and address and check this on the labelling. Do not open the bag.  
  • Only hand the prescription to the person who is named on the package or agreed on the phone call initially with the person being supported.  
  • Pass the prescription to the person on doorstep or place the prescription in the home where agreed beforehand.  
  • Pass on any information provided by the pharmacy or if any owing notes or repeat prescription slips are in the bag.
Important information
  • Protect the person’s confidentiality. When collecting prescriptions, the person may need to provide sensitive information such as details of their prescription. Volunteers must understand the level of confidentiality expected of them, a person’s privacy must be respected at all times.  
  • Some medication may need to be stored in the fridge and you will be told this on collection. It is important to pass this information on to the person.  
  • Any prescriptions that cannot be delivered need to be returned to the pharmacy.  
  • Do not open the prescription bag. If the medication spills or breaks return to the pharmacy.  
  • If the person has a question about the medication, please ask them to contact the pharmacy.  
  • Under no circumstances are volunteers to administer any medication or set up dossette boxes.  
Payment options - Paying for a prescription 
  1. When on the call with the person you are supporting, ask them if they pay for their prescriptions. 
  2. If they do, explain that they will need to call the pharmacy and place an order for their prescription over the phone and make payment. Help them to find out the contact details for the pharmacy if they need support.  
  3. Tell them that you will call them back within 10 minutes to check that the payment is confirmed. You will also need to check what time the prescription will be ready for collection. (Remember the person will not have your phone number, as you should always withhold your number. You will have to make all calls to them).  
  4. If the pharmacy will not accept payment over the phone, see payment options or contact the Support Team on 0808 196 3382 who will be able to help find a solution.  

If you experience any difficulties while you’re volunteering or face any circumstances which make you feel uncomfortable, we are here to support you. Please call the support team on 0808 196 3382. All concerns will be handled sensitively, and we will work with you to ensure a safe and positive volunteering experience.   

Potential questions you may be asked 

See potential questions you may be asked.

Skills Bank 

We have a selection of resources in the Skills Bank that may help you with your volunteering. We have linked to the resources that we think would support you with this activity, take some time to look through them to build your confidence. 

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Page last reviewed: 16 May 2024