VIOLENT and abusive behaviour is being reported in pharmacies across the North-East and North Yorkshire as the health service deals with 'exceptionally high demand.'

The Chief Executive of one pharmacy group has since warned against the abuse of pharmacy staff and an urge to stockpile vital medicines needed to supply their communities.

According to Community Pharmacy North Yorkshire, which runs 152 pharmacies across the region, almost half have experienced a form of abuse in the past five days.

Ranging from threatening behaviour to verbal abuse, staff have reported incidents while they try to deal with members of the public and an 'exceptionally high demand for medication.'

Ian Dean CEO Community Pharmacy North Yorkshire said, “We are requesting the following of patients - please do not abuse Pharmacy staff, treat them with respect as they do you.

"Please do not stockpile medication, please do not order repeat prescriptions ahead of the due date. There is enough medicines in the supply chain, if everyone orders their usual quantities and duration.  

"We ask you to do this, so we can do what your Community Pharmacy want to do which is keep their whole community safe."