"Long waitat the pharmacy"

About: Northampton General Hospital (Acute) / Clinical haematology

(as the patient),

After a visit to the Haemotolgy Dept at Northampton General Hospital which was very well conducted, my husband was told that he needed to commence chemotherapy treatment to treat his condition. We went to the pharmacy to hand in the prescription and we were told to return in 40 mins.The script was not ready when we returned and we had to wait for a further 1hour and 20 minutes. We were not kept informed as to why the wait was so long until I rang the bell and asked. Eventually the pharmacist came out with the tablets and told us that they did not have enough medication to fill the prescription and that we would have to return another day to collect the rest. Not good enough for a patient who is not feeling well!

On the positive side I rang the the pharmacy the following day to check if the supplies had arrived, and the pharmacist said she would ring me back. She did this and told me that the tablets were ready but as it was a Saturday the pharmacy would be closing at 1pm. This was at 20 to 1 and I could not get to the hospital in time. I eventually picked them up on Monday morning. Why did we have to wait so long initially? We were not the only patients waiting for prescriptions on Friday afternoon I know but I thought that the new system was set to make the department more efficient.

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Responses

Response from Northampton General Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post your experience at the pharmacy department. We would like to apologise for the extended time you had to wait for your medication. The department has to deal with dispensing medicines for inpatients, daycases and out patients and a Friday afternoon is one of their busiest periods.

As you mention in your posting a new robot has been installed and will improve our dispensing and ordering techniques but as you experienced on this particular Friday calculations for the drug you required were not quite right.

We do have a procedure for collecting medication when the pharmacy is closed, from your comments we do not know what medication you were waiting for and can only presume that your medication, which was ordered immediately was either a controlled drug or required to be kept at a controlled temprature. Therefore you would not have been able to collect your medication from our reception area outside of normal opening hours.

Following your comments we will be reviewing the ways in which patients/carers waiting for medication are informed of the ongoing waiting times for collecting medication.