"I was questioned about my order by someone not a trained GP"

About: Adult community services / Continence advisory service

(as a service user),

I order catheters from your service. It's inconvenient to ring your number. I prefer contacting the supplier direct, there is a day's delay in delivery due to using this service.

Also several months ago I was questioned about my order and if I needed them. I do not appreciate discussing my personal affairs with someone who is not a trained GP. My health issues and prescription requirements are between me and my GP and no one else.

Also, I requested the facility to send requests by email. I was advised I would have to call in to the hospital to set this up. This is an off way of setting up such a service and an inconvenience. It should be possible to do it online.

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Response from Kerry Hollingworth, Corporate Affairs Officer, The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Short27, thank you for your posting on Patient Opinion, we really appreciate your feedback on the Continence Advisory Service.

Changes were made to the way we issue prescriptions in Rotherham, for continence products, following extensive discussions with Rotherham GPs, Commissioners and most importantly patients. GPs reported they were being requested to prescribe products that they had little knowledge about and that they were unable to help patients when they had problems with their appliances.

Rotherham GPs felt a better service could be offered if responsibility for prescribing of these products was transferred to specialist continence nurses.

The majority of patients have given this service, since it started in 2009, very positive feedback as many had experienced difficulties in obtaining prescriptions from their GP especially when their needs had changed.

The prescription coordinators have undertaken a BTEC qualification in continence & stoma customer care and the nurses are Independent prescribers. With this service if you do ever have any problems or need advice it is available to you at the end of the phone. As the nurses are responsible for signing your prescription they do need to ask questions regarding your product use and health status to ensure they are prescribing safely.

All patients, when they ring in to request a prescription are asked if they have experienced any problems since their last prescription was issued. This enables the team to offer advice or address problems as appropriate, I am sorry you find this intrusive but we work in this way to ensure patients are not left without help should they be experiencing difficulties. If there has been a significant time gap since your last prescription was issued staff will ask a number of questions before they prescribe to ensure you continue to receive products appropriate for your clinical needs.

With regard to delays with delivery; ringing the service should not create a delay in you receiving your products as the team contact your delivery company to place your order the same day. Relatively new national guidelines now prevent delivery companies from delivering products to patients without first receiving a prescription. Our phone call provides them with evidence that a prescription has been generated; the majority of companies will then make arrangements for your products to be delivered.

Unfortunately in order to setup online ordering we do need to see you face to face with a form of photo ID, however if you are unable to attend the clinic at the Rotherham Community Health Centre we can offer a home visit.

With best wishes,


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