"Here's a piece of crass stupidity: ..."

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

(as the patient),

Anything else?

Here's a piece of crass stupidity: I have to come for a colorectal examination. Before that happens I need to take certain drugs. The Queen's Wing will send me a prescription for these drugs but I can't walk round to my local pharmacist with it, oh no, I have to go to the pharmacy at either QEll or The Lister and get it made up there. That means using a minimum of two litres of petrol and paying your exorbitant parking fee. As a pensioner these things are important.

And what about the wholly unnecessary increase in my carbon footprint, created by unnecessary travel?

This policy demonstrates a total disregard for patient welfare. It needs changing, immediately, so that prescriptions sent out can be made up at local chemists.

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Responses

Response from Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital

Sometimes what appears to be counter intuitive to making patients' lives easier can have good reasons behind them.

Generally speaking, community pharmacists stock medications that meet over the counter demand and the prescribing patterns of local GPs. While some of these medicines are also used in hospitals, our doctors prescribe a wide range of highly specialised drugs that are carried routinely by the Trust's pharmacies. While a community pharmacist can always order them, this would often require patients making at least one return journey.

A second major benefit of a hospital pharmacist dispensing such specialist drugs is that they are far more familiar with their use and are better placed to raise queries with their clinical colleagues if they are concerned about any aspect of a prescription. While we would hope that a community pharmacist would be equally alert to potential problems, they are far less able to access our consultants - again adding potential delay and down-the-line problems when patients return for their hospital appointment.

So while it may feel that patients are being asked to make unnecessary journeys, there are genuine and clinically beneficial reasons why such prescriptions are made through our own hospital pharmacies.

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