"Waiting for prescriptions at point of discharge "

About: Leicester General Hospital

(as a relative),

My 88 year old mother was recently admitted to Ward 22 at the General Hospital for seven days and I cannot fault the nursing care she received during her stay. However I am flabbergasted regarding the inefficient system used to obtain prescriptions at point of discharge at a weekend. Apparently the Pharmacy shuts at the General at 2pm Saturday and Sunday so if the consultant has not signed off the prescription (which is often the case because they are short staffed at weekends) then the prescription has to be sent to LRI to be processed and then the medication is sent back to the General via some transport.

No-one on the ward can give you any indication how long this process may take and indeed my mother had been waiting since 9. 30am on the Saturday morning and by 5pm it still had not arrived. So it involved my mother having to stay a further night as it was not fair to be keep an 88 year old waiting around not knowing what was happening.

Eventually on Sunday at 3pm we were able to get her prescribed medication but not without me being incredibly stressed by the whole situation and seeing my mother extremely upset and in tears with nurses trying to comfort her as she just wanted to get home and had been waiting nearly 2 days for this to happen.

As a result of this inefficient system this has cost the NHS further cost as my mother could not vacate her bed and more importantly had denied someone else the opportunity with urgent medical need the chance to be admitted into a ward at a time when hospital beds are at a premium.

I would like to know the costs for keeping a patient in over a 24 hour period. Surely someone needs to urgently reconsider how prescription medication is issued to patients at point of discharge at weekends to stop the same distressing thing happening to others. Even if the patient is sent home and the medication is sent via a taxi or courier it would be vastly cheaper than an overnight stay.

I look forward to hearing your comments.

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Response from University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Dear Lesstatt,

Thank you for posting your comment on Patient Opinion.

We have been informed by the Pharmacy and PILS teams that you had registered this issue as a complaint with the hospital, and therefore, it was officially investigated for you with the team.

I understand that you have since received an official response and hope this has now been addressed and resolved for you. We would however, like to apologise for not replying to your post on here sooner.

We hope you have a very merry Christmas!

Communications Team

Leicester's Hospitals

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