"Long wait for my medicines"

About: Victoria Hospital / General Medicine

(as the patient),

I’ve been in hospital for a few days having IVIG infusion treatment. On the day I was due to be discharged instead of having everything lined up for me to leave after the doctor’s round I was woken early for a blood test.

I accepted this as it would mean the doctor would have the latest results for his round.

At 11: 00 I was told I could go home as soon as my medication was received from Pharmacy.

12: 30 – lunch time – nothing from pharmacy.

15: 00 – having waited and waited I had a go at the nurses – how long does it take for pharmacy to fill out a prescription and get it to a ward? The nurse said she would follow it up in 10 minutes. I told the nurses I would be leaving at 13: 30 with or without the medication.

At 15: 30 as I was preparing to leave I pointed out a bag which had been at the nurses’ station since 14: 30. Lo and behold they were my medicines.

What I cannot understand is why, at the clinic I regularly attend, right next to the ward, I can be in and out within 15 minutes having picked up my prescription from the pharmacy in that time. The clinic has a ‘tube’ system link to the pharmacy through which prescriptions can be sent directly to the pharmacy, it works like clockwork. However, on the ward they rely on porters to take the prescriptions to the pharmacy and to then bring the medication to the ward. This is a newly built hospital, why could the ‘tube’ system not be used on the wards as well as the clinics?

Also, it sounds good when they say they have Wi-Fi at the hospital but it is so slow it is almost impossible to use.

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Responses

Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife We are preparing to make a change

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Dear Label528

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about the problem with your discharge medication. Whilst I could at this stage offer you a general response which would apologise and recognise your frustration (which I do), I am keen to pass this on to pharmacy and to the ward to hear from them directly about what we can do to improve this situation. If you could confirm which ward you were in this would be really helpful. I will also pass your comments on re the WIFI and will come back to you with a response to that point as well.

Thanks for taking the time to tell us these things.

Regards

Louise Ewing

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Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife We are preparing to make a change

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Dear label528

Further to my post please see below the response I received from Scott Garden, Chief Pharmacist:

"One of the key objectives of the pharmacy service is to ensure a safe, efficient and timely supply of medicines at discharge. As such we have a key performance indicator to dispense discharge prescriptions within 2 hours of receipt in the pharmacy dispensary. This target is based on volume of prescriptions and average length of stay per patient. I am pleased to say that we are consistently delivering this standard. However, we are always looking to improve the patient experience with respect to medicines and as such are embarking on re-design work to create a system where the majority of medicines required for discharge are individual labelled and available within the patient’s bedside locker prior to discharge. Therefore when the decision is made that the patient is well enough to be discharged the prescription can be written and the medicines supplied to the patient from the ward without having to request the majority of medicines from pharmacy. It is recognised that not all medicines can be supplied in this way and certain medicines will have to be dispensed from pharmacy at point of discharge however this redesign should further improve the medicines turnaround from pharmacy when this is required.

I am more than happy to investigate the circumstances related to this incident to understand how the current system could be improved".

On the basis, once again if you could provide us with the detail of the specific ward it would be most helpful.

Regards

Louise Ewing

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Update posted by Label528 (the patient)

Thank you the ward was 34. I would like to say that the staff on the ward could not be nicer or more helpful.

Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

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Dear Label528

Thanks for getting back to us. I will make sure the staff get to see your positive feedback and get on with looking into the specifics. I should also have asked you to confirm the date...sorry!

If it is easier to discuss then feel free to give me a call on 01592 648069

Thanks again

Louise Ewing

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