DATE: 5th January 2021
TO: All Mandate Members, Boots Ashbourne, Dawson Street, Cork Half Moon Street, Cork Mahon Point, Dublin Lower Baggot Street, Letterkenny, Knocknacarra Galway, Naas Monread Road, Tullamore, Waterford Georges Court
FROM: Jonathan Hogan, National Co-Ordinator
RE: COVID-19 Testing Service
Further to numerous concerns raised with Mandate by our members in Boots locations providing the COVID-19 Testing Service we wrote to the company by way of correspondence dated 10th December 2020, see copy below. We are now in receipt of a response from the company, also outlined below. It is worth noting that since our initial correspondence the service has further expanded to include Cork Mahon Point, Dublin Lower Baggott Street and Waterford Georges Court.
If you have any further concerns please contact your local Shop Steward or relevant Mandate Official.
Ms Rachel Nolan
HR Operations Manager
Boots Retail Ireland Ltd
2F 5 River Walk
Citywest Business Campus
10 December 2020
Re: COVID-19 Testing Service
Dear Ms Nolan
I have received information that a number of stores listed below are planning to conduct private COVID-19 swab tests. In relation to the implementation of this scheme, could the employer give the Union some information in relation to what risk assessments have been carried out regarding the launch of this service and the possible impact, if any, this will have on the workers within those stores.
At this point and based upon the limited information we have, matters of public safety have also been raised which I cannot give an answer to. These concerns are obviously based upon the location of the testing and the risks of conducting these types of tests in screened retail outlets.
- Dublin, Dawson St
- Cork, Half Moon Street
- Galway, Knocknacarra
- Donegal, LetterKenny Retail Park
- Kildare, Naas Monread Shopping Centre
- Meath, Ashbourne
- Offaly, Tullamore
I look forward to hearing from you in the above regard.
For Mandate Trade Union
Boots Retail Ireland
CityWest Business Campus
22nd December 2020
Re. Covid 19 PCR Testing Service
Dear Mr Hogan
I write to you further to your letter on 10th December 2020.
Boots Ireland has commenced offering a private COVID-19 PCR testing service in selected pharmacies across the country. The commencement of this service allows Boots to continue to support their local communities. There is currently no testing provision under the National Testing Strategy for patients that are not experiencing symptoms. We believe that by providing a private testing service, we can provide a convenient and accessible solution to support the national programme; increasing access to testing.
The service is not suitable for anyone who has any symptoms of COVID-19, these customers are advised to follow government guidance, self-isolate and speak to their doctor. Customers wishing to avail of the service can book an appointment online through boots.ie. The customer will be asked a number of questions to ensure their suitability for the service. Customers will be contacted by a member of the Pharmacy Team prior to their appointment to discuss the necessary criteria further.
The test takes place in the consultation room, as do all our pharmacy services. Our pharmacists are fully trained in infection prevention control measures including the donning and doffing of Personal Protective Equipment. Clear policies aimed at managing risks have been put in place including Standard Operating Procedures and Risk Assessments. Negative results will be given via text message or via the Health Passport app. Any confirmed positive result will have a telephone consultation with the pharmacist, informing them of their positive test result. They will be reminded of the requirement to self isolate and given advice on what do to if they begin to feel unwell.
Boots Ireland look forward to providing this service and believe it will only serve to support the National Testing Strategy, in the identification of positive cases in a cohort of patients not currently provided for under the public healthcare system. The service also gives our Pharmacy Teams the opportunity to update their knowledge and skills, while making a significant contribution to patient screening and public health.
Colleagues in the stores currently offering the service have been engaged and informed of the detail of the service. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
HR Operations Manager Boots Ireland