"The worst at providing repeat medication on time"

About: St Austell Health Group

I’ve lost count of the number of times that St Austell Healthcare have failed to respond to a prescription sent by my pharmacy on time. I am epileptic and require my medication to get by day to day, so I can live and work like everybody else. Today it seems I am now unable to go on holiday because once again, they’ve failed to provide my prescription. I don’t have enough medicine to go on holiday with and I highly doubt it will be sorted before I fly.

There have been multiple occasions where I have had to skip my medication because I haven’t had enough, so I’ve remained inside for fear of having a seizure instead of doing something productive with my weekends. St Austell healthcare do not care that their failure to serve affects the quality of life of their patients. I am simply told to call 111, who are under their own strain, and often do not respond until the pharmacies are closed.

Because of my condition I do not drive and therefore have no choice whatsoever but to continue to use this practice!

I never had issues when I was with park medical before it became part of this group.

Story from nhs.uk

Responses

Response from St Austell Health Group

Dear anonymous,

I am sorry to hear that you have experienced delays with our repeat prescription service, and that our system has not been working well for you.

The repeat prescription system is now well established within St Austell Healthcare and the vast majority of prescription requests are actioned with 48-72 hours and sent to nominated pharmacies for dispensing. Community pharmacies will often request a further couple of days to dispense the prescription so we do routinely say to patients to leave a week when ordering repeat medicines.

Sometimes however requests have to be sent to the GP or the practice pharmacists to review and re-authorise repeat items. This may delay a prescription but this is to ensure that prescribing is as safe as possible.

In situations where a patient’s prescription has not arrived at the pharmacy, the pharmacy does have a dedicated phone line to contact us if the request is urgent to check the status of the prescription. Community pharmacies are also able make a supply of urgent medicines in an emergency.

For maximum efficiency and traceability St Austell Healthcare recommends electronic transfer of prescriptions to a nominated pharmacy. If prescriptions have to be printed and signed, this very often necessitates an extra day of processing time as the paper prescriptions have to be signed by the GP.

Our prescribing team are always happy to work through individual problems with patients, and can be contacted on 01726 932093 or prescribing.sahc@nhs.net.

There is a system called eRepeats which may be useful to you, and the community pharmacy should be able to provide you with further information on this.

I apologise for any inconvenience that you have been caused, and thank you for your feedback.

Yours sincerely,

Anita McMillan, Business Support Manager

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