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Community pharmacies across Northern Ireland have welcomed the announcement by the Health & Social Care Board (HSCB) that it is to provide funding for the purchase of – or reimbursement of – costs associated with purchasing security equipment for community pharmacies.

Funding up to a maximum of £4000 is to be made available to each community pharmacy in order to address any issues that it identified through the self-assessment audit which formed part of a security review in January 2019.

At that time, the HSCB provided funding of £1500 to those community pharmacies which participated in the HSCB Safer Community Pharmacies for Staff and Patients. As part of the Grant Funding Allocation, pharmacies were required to undertake a security-self assessment audit.

As a result of the audits, many pharmacies identified ways in which they could improve security measures for both staff and patients, with many purchasing new systems and equipment.

This new funding covers the following categories:

· External Environment

· Building Security

· Alarms and Alarm Communication

· CCTV

· Controlled Drugs

· Consultation Areas / Rooms – Access Route

· Property Marking

· Robbery Prevention

· Fraud

Pharmacies must ensure that all items of equipment/changes are in place prior to 31st March 2021 and retrospective claims for equipment purchased since 1st April 2020 can also be reimbursed under this scheme.

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