A PHARMACIST who fought off COVID-19 has thrown herself back onto the frontline to help protect West Fifers from the virus.

Jill Shields, 37, who is manager at Rowlands Pharmacy in Dalgety Bay, was forced to self-isolate for seven days after contracting coronavirus.

Once recovered, Jill threw herself back into her work as pharmacies around the country are under pressure.

The community pharmacy, which normally handles 600 daily prescriptions, is currently averaging 1,500 in one day – leaving little time for a break.

Unsurprisingly, Jill found herself working 12-hour days to handle the triple workload and backlog of prescriptions.

Stuart Rennie, 68, Jill’s father, said: “She’s such a happy, cheerful person, who loves to come home and cuddle her kids.

“There’s not a lot of family time at the moment but she feels there’s a moral obligation to keep the service running for those who need it.”

At the pharmacy, social distancing measures are in place, including the two-metre rule, glass protective screens and a maximum of two customers permitted in the shop at any one time.

However, the subsequent queues of patients waiting outside make it difficult for Jill to close at the end of the day, not helped by absent employees forced to self-isolate.

To help combat this, Jill introduced a local texting service to notify patients when their prescriptions are ready, which has eased queues and streamlined the service.

Meanwhile, Jill has praised her superb colleagues and patients who remain understanding and supportive.

When the pharmacy’s lack of space for completed prescriptions became a problem, Jill issued an appeal to Dalgety Bay residents for their help.

In response, one man from the close-knit community used his skills to construct a supplementary storage cabinet, on which prescriptions awaiting collection are hung.

Jill’s husband, Allan, who is also a pharmacist, stayed in isolation for the recommended 14 days before returning to work at Omnicare in Leven, at which time their two children began attending an education hub in Fife.