Pharmacists will be at risk of contracting coronavirus and infecting patients without appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), the NHS has been warned.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) says that a diminished supply of equipment such as masks, gloves and aprons places an unnecessary level of danger on pharmacists and could endanger the lives of many at-risk customers.

RPS director of pharmacy Robbie Turner told the BBC that pharmacists had been told to buy PPE from wholesalers, which have been either out of stock or charging expensive prices.

He told the broadcaster: "Pharmacies should not be having to go out and buy protection to keep them safe - this should be supplied by the NHS.

"Without it pharmacists are being needlessly put at risk."

Current guidance from the NHS says that gloves and aprons should be used by pharmacists in high street stores while in close contact with patients.

The NHS said it has a 24/7 hotline for queries about the supply and distribution of PPE.