Patients don’t understand why they need to go to the phlebotomy clinic for regular check-ups, rather than visiting community pharmacists who provide a similar service under NHS Health Checks (but that are allowed only once in five years and under certain conditions).
Salim Jetha, Avicenna
Here’s my list of patient’s requests: loans of prescription items, flu vaccines, malaria prophylaxis, orders for repeat prescriptions from surgeries (now stopped by the CCG) and developing and printing.
Coll Michaels, Calverton Pharmacy, Luton
We need an anticoagulation clinic for warfarin monitoring – currently they have to travel to hospital, wait for a phlebotomist, then wait again for someone to adjust the dose. The whole process can take three hours every fortnight. This is particularly a waste of resources for patients who have to be driven there by the NHS.
Raj Rohilla, Battersea Pharmacy, London
We are unable to provide this wonderful new service across all of our pharmacies. The MAS helps patients, reduces pressure on GPs and helps the NHS get best value. I am sure it will come, but at the moment we have a postcode lottery as to whether patients can engage with the service or not.
Peter Badham, Badham Pharmacy
Here in Scotland, I think our pharmacy contract is pretty good, but I administer private flu vaccines. If we were able to administer NHS flu vaccines, I think this would take pressure off the GP practices, and the uptake would be higher as we are so easily accessible. If we also had access to some relevant parts of patient’s medical records, eg lab results, I believe this would make giving advice and prescribing a lot easier. Many patients already assume we share records with other healthcare professionals and are surprised at the lack of IT communication.
Fiona McElrea, Whithorn Pharmacy
Our main issue is when we have a great service, but patients don’t understand the limits of these. For example, in Cornwall we have just five conditions that we can treat under a minor ailment PGD, and patients find it hard to understand the limitations to this list, or how we can do some medication, but not CDs, for urgent repeat medication. Patients still find it really hard to understand quotas and how these are rarely volume-based.
Nick Kaye, Nick Kaye’s Pharmacy, Newquay
Patients are getting more demanding, as resources available to them increase, through the internet for example. However, the most demanding situations are often not within our control, such as ordering that vital repeat CD prescription which hasn’t arrived from the surgery, followed by the domino effect of manufacturing issues or stock quota problems. How do you explain this to a patient, who feels that they need their vital medicines, without delay, right now?
Al Patel, Lee Pharmacy, London