David Steele – Community pharmacy locum
I work for some independent pharmacies that close for lunch, which is lovely. Some companies are good at emphasising a 20-minute break. Some customers are fine and some are grumpy. When I first qualified I used to grab a quick bite whenever I got a chance and checked scripts in between gulps. If customers know the pharmacist takes a small break at a particular time then I think that is the best solution. I think we need a small mental break to maintain concentration.I don’t think all community pharmacy companies have designated times. One company posts the 20 minute break time on the door, which is a good idea. There is business pressure to stay open at lunchtime. One of the advantages, I find, with even a half hour closure is that you aren’t short staffed for 2 hours of the day. If you are a locum pharmacist and don’t know the shop then that makes a fair difference. Supermarkets that I have worked for recently are keen that you are available all the time, even if you are on for 12 hours. Some helpful support staff can elongate the waiting time.