Volunteer drivers to deliver medicines during Covid-19

Date published: 15 April 2020

Health Minister Robin Swann welcomes a new volunteer-led service delivering medicines to patients during the current pandemic.


Minister Swann said: “It is important that individuals who are self-isolating or unable to leave their home because of Covid-19 continue to have access to their medicines.  Many will have a family member, friend, or local support network who can help but others will have difficulties.  It is those we need to help. 

“Community pharmacies are working hard to maintain a service to their communities.  However social distancing measures are impacting on patients with an increasing need for home deliveries of medicines.”

The Health and Social Care Board has been working with the Community Development and Health Network (CDHN) to coordinate volunteer organisations who will support community pharmacies which have been experiencing a very high demand for their services in the last month due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. 

Under this arrangement, the CDHN will coordinate volunteer organisations throughout Northern Ireland to collect and deliver medication to patients and provide volunteer support to help within community pharmacies.  This could include assisting controlling the numbers allowed into pharmacies to maintain social distancing requirements.

The Minister said: “This new network of volunteers will ensure that all patients will continue to get their medicines.  We have already seen an excellent response from all sections of society to help the fightback against Covid-19.  This is another excellent example of voluntary action helping those in need and I commend the CDHN and the HSCB in delivering this.” 

Joe Brogan, Head of Pharmacy and Medicines Management in the Health and Social Care Board, said: “CDHN is a well-established organisation with good relationships with local volunteer and community organisations.  Through those contacts, patients who are unable to visit their local community pharmacy will continue to have access to their medicines”.


Notes to editors: 

  1. This is a temporary arrangement to support community pharmacies as they cope with additional demands during the Covid 19 this time.
  2. For media enquiries please contact the Department of Health Press Office pressoffice@health-ni.gov.uk. Out of hours please contact the Duty Press Office on 028 9037 8110.
  3. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt

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