"The medical staff in eye A&E ..."

About: Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital (Welwyn Garden City)

(as the patient),

What I liked

The medical staff in eye A&E on Essendon ward were knowledgeable, perosnable and helpful

What could be improved

Firstly the waiting times in Phamacy are unacceptable - in excess of 30 mins. This is made worse by a poster boasting that the robot can dispense in 6 seconds - this has a very irritating effect when waiting more than 300 times longer for one's prescription. Adiditonally, Pharmacy staff answered the phone rather than talk to patients queueing at the window, which is impolite.

The situation is exacrebated as doctors can only write prescriptions that have to be dispensed by the hospital's own Pharmacy. If this policy were changed, it would improve patient satisfaction and provide an opportunity to sort out the operational problems that clearly exist within the Pharmacy by reducing the eowrkload.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital

Thank you for your comments, which have been discussed with the Trust's pharmacy team. They agree with you about the issue of answering the phone, although often these are urgent requests from within the hospital. The team are looking in to how they can change the system so patients queuing to be seen are not left with the impression that they are being ignored.

With regard to the prescriptions themselves, there are several good reasons why it is important that they are dispensed from the hospital rather than a community hospital. Two of these are that some drugs prescribed in hospital are not carried as stock items routinely by local pharmacies, which can add considerably to the time taken to have them discharged. A second important reason is that pharmacy staff can have a need to check with the prescriber about aspects of the medication being prescribed. Clearly that is far easier for hospital pharmacy staff to do, compared to their colleagues in community pharmacies.

As for the waiting time, while the pharmacy robot does speed up the physical dispensing of drugs, there are still a number of important steps that need to be carried out to ensure that the right medication is provided to the right patients. We never like people to wait longer than necessary, but it is important to get these important matters right.

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